BGR Surveys Jefferson Parish President Candidates on Key Policy Issues

September 12, 2019

Today BGR releases Questions for a New Parish President, the first in a two-part series of reports providing the views of candidates for Jefferson Parish government on important public policy issues. Tomorrow, BGR will release the responses of the Parish Council candidates. 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 president is available here.

Questions for a New Parish President 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 President 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 three candidates who qualified to run for the office. Two candidates, Cynthia Lee Sheng and John Young, responded. The third candidate, Lee Bonnecarrere, did not respond. 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 significant similarities and differences between the two candidates who responded. For example, both candidates emphasize the need to seek cost savings in the Parish budget and develop long-term capital budgets for Parish departments. However, they differed on other issues, such as how to make Parish government more effective, enhance neighborhood quality of life, improve Parish contracting, and approach 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.”