Today BGR releases Questions for a New Parish Council, the second in a two-part report series providing the views of candidates for Jefferson Parish government on important public policy issues. Yesterday, BGR released the responses of the candidates for Parish President. The reports are part of BGR’s 2019 Candidate Q&A Election Series for the October 12 elections in Jefferson Parish. Today’s report on the candidates for Parish Council is available here.
Questions for a New Parish Council provides voters with the candidates’ answers to 16 questions developed from BGR’s body of research. They address a broad range of topics, including: managing the Parish’s General Fund budget amid extensive tax dedications; investing in essential infrastructure; improving Parish contracting; sustaining East Jefferson General Hospital; and ensuring ethical government. BGR also explores the candidates’ views on topics that affect citizens’ daily lives, including public transit, economic development and the quality of life in the parish.
Questions for a New Parish Council also asked the candidates to propose specific ideas for how they would make Parish government work better for the citizens it serves.
BGR sent its questionnaire to all 23 candidates who qualified to run for council offices. Seven candidates responded from council districts 1, 2 and 3. No candidates for the at-large seats or council districts 4 and 5 responded. To be clear, BGR is a nonpartisan organization that does not endorse any candidates for public office. The purpose of this report series is to help voters make informed decisions and provide a basis for them to hold elected officials accountable for campaign positions.
The responses highlight varying positions on important issues the candidates will have to address if elected to the Parish Council. Several candidates indicated they would seek cost savings in Parish services and develop stronger capital planning processes for Parish departments. Candidates also advanced a wide range of ideas for making Parish government more effective and enhancing the quality of life for citizens. Drainage and road improvements were top concerns when asked about parish infrastructure needs. The candidates also offered a broad range of views on reforming Parish contracting and approaching the ongoing negotiations for the possible strategic affiliation of East Jefferson General Hospital with LCMC Health.
BGR President & CEO Amy L. Glovinsky said, “We hope that BGR’s Candidate Q&A series shines a light on major public policy issues facing the future leaders of Jefferson Parish, and that it assists voters in making their decisions. We are grateful to the candidates who participated in this exercise.”