Alexandria mayor candidates faced off against one another last night at a forum where they shared their ideas for the future of the city. ABC 31 News Joel Massey was there and has this report.
The Greater Central Louisiana Realtors Association hosted a forum for Alexandria mayor candidates at Alexandria Senior High. Present were Mayor Jeff Hall, Alexandria City Council President Catherine Davidson, former mayor Jacques Roy and businessman Lorenzo Davis Sr. Here’s what the candidates had to say.
Jacques Roy said, “Public safety which is the reduction of crime and accountability in all things that are related to creating a safer community, that’s key. It has to be first. We published a plan. It’s informed by top leaders in law enforcement, and we know we can deliver it on day one, no learning curve, walk in and deliver that plan. Restore basic services number two and clean up the trash and debris in this city it looks terrible.”
Jeff Hall said, “I am experiencing and facing some things that no other mayor has faced. The pandemic, the ice storms, the tornados that we had to deal with the very first year. And I will never forget the ice storms that were devastating to a lot of infrastructure. But the citizens benefited from some real good employees and the leadership that was there to bring them through it. So we’ve had the experience to go through something. So we don’t have to say what we will do. We know what we’ve done and the results speak for themselves. I will also say that that experience has paid off because the dollars that I spoke about a moment ago, the 10s and 20s and 30s of millions of dollars didn’t just walk into our hands. We had to go and get it. And last but not least the financial status of the city is like no other, like it’s never been before on the positive side. A fund balance that’s outside the general fund in the history has never been this large.”
Catherine Davidson said, “What separates me is that we all have solutions that we are talking about tonight. What separates me is action. We’ve been debilitated for years by inaction, overthinking studying studies of a study of a study of downtown still hasn’t been implemented. We have another study going on by this administration. We have to act. We have plenty of great information. We have plenty of studies that just have never been acted on. What Alexandria needs is a decisive mayor, a mayor that’s going to make decisions, that’s not going to be perfect. You make mistakes and you own them. But you have to make decisions. What we are right now, we have 34 million dollars in the bank. We’re the little old lady who has no children, no family. She’s 95 years old. She has 10 million dollars in the bank and her roof is leaking and her car doesn’t work. We have to make decisions and we have to do it in a priority way. And we have to act. We have to do something. We have to move forward. We’ve had two candidates who have had 16 years to implement a plan, and this is where we are, high crime, declining population, downtown. Where is downtown? What’s going on? You need a decisive mayor.”
Lorenzo Davis, Sr. said, “And I’m not a politician. I’m a businessman… How politicians lie. It fascinates me. Nothing has gotten better under the past two administrations. Mayor Roy stepped out because he, like Sabin says, if you can’t do the job turn it over to the guy who can. He turned it over to the guy who ran it in the ditch! No wins, zero. He hasn’t done anything. No help with small business no youth recreation department, don’t be fooled. This is what you’ve got and this is what we can’t go back to. We need a leader that can go to corporate America, where I’ve been meeting with them over the last month, months, helping in other communities. They’re listening because I’ve been there at the table with them. I know Alexandria’s going to grow with the right leadership.”
Newcomer and teacher Harry Hayes was not able to attend the forum due to health reasons.