WALKER – District 8 will be represented by a new face on the Livingston Parish Council as Randy Delatte and Barry Hardy compete for the job.
Both took part in the Chamber of Commerce’s Parish Council Candidate Forum on Monday at Wholly Grounds Coffeehouse in Walker.
Asked about a possible parish wide drainage district, Delatte said he supports it but funding would be a challenge.
Hardy said drainage has two levels: regular drainage and the rivers.
U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is helping the parish with federal funds, but Hardy said, "as far as regular maintenance, I believe it's important we have parish wide maintenance,”
Why this job?
“My whole family was raised in District 8,” Hardy said. “I love my district. I want to win this race, get in there and help my people.”
Delatte said he has over 15 years of government experience that will help him.
“I use a common-sense approach to government,” he said.
Delatte said at one time proceeds from bingo was used for animal control, but it may not be enough today.
“I believe we can cut 10 percent of the budget. We don’t need to spend everything we get," he said.
“I feel like, yes, we do need animal control across Livingston Parish,” Hardy said. “Anything you try to do will cost money. We’ve got to find out how we’re going to do this and how to fund it.
Ways to help fight litter could include getting the solid-waste collector, offering incentives and having cleanest city awards, Delatte aid.
“We need to take litter and take about it seriously,” he said.
Hardy said litter comes in three types - litter tossed out the window of a car, people dumping refrigerators on gravel roads, and litter dredged from rivers that the current brings into the parish.
All three can be solved, but it will take the entire parish, he said.
Part of the confusion facing people is different permits are needed to build something, Delatte said.
“People don’t know where to go, they are confused by the process. And the process is always changing,” he said.
“We need a scheduled maintenance program,” Hardy said to tackle drainage, and that belongs to the parish president.
“We can clean culverts, ditches, etc., but we need a schedule.”
The residential-commercial development debate is tough, according to Delatte, because “Fifty percent is on one side and 50 percent is on the other side.”
“Zoning is coming and needs to be in our parish, but it needs to work for rural areas and populated areas,” he said.
“People have to get educated and find out it will help not hurt, then they will be for it.”
“Zoning is an issue in our district. People don’t want zoning,” Hardy said.
“I think we need some sort of zoning,” but the people should decide, he added. “If 51 percent say yes or not, we go with that 51 percent.
“I am against taxes, fees, additional permits, anything,” Delatte said.
“If we learn to cut the budget 6 percent a year, we can show people we know how to manage their money,” he said.
People say they won’t pay, but everything takes funding to get things done, Hardy said.
The parish needs to do more with what it has, whether its equipment or employees, he said.