Villard and Bennett Face Off for Alexandria City Council At-Large Position
With qualifying over for the Alexandria City Council and mayor’s race here’s how the field stands. In addition to mayor jeff hall, former Mayor Jacques Roy, City Council President Catherine Davidson and Peabody Magnet School Teacher Harry Hayes—Businessman Lorenzo Davis has qualified to run for mayor.
For District 2 the qualifiers are Incumbent Gerber Porter, Gary Johnson, Former Councilman Roosevelt Johnson and Clarience Reed.
For District 4 it’s Lizzie Felter vs. Tom Spencer. For the at-large seat it’s Incumbent Jim Villard, Former District 1 Councilman Jules Green and Entrepreneur Brian “B.J.” Bennett. ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey sat down with Villard and Bennett today.
Running for city council is not new to two of the men vying for the at-large seat. Jim Villard has served 4 terms and wants another four years. If elected he says he thinks he will be done after that. B.J. Bennett has made two runs for different seats but lost both times. Here’s what Villard had to say:
“We need to keep common sense on the city council we need people that will go upstairs talk with the mayor see what his plans are discuss it with him even if we don’t agree with him we can always agree to disagree, but at least we have to have that open talking back and forth.”
“I know what’s going on in the city I know how to solve problems. I know how to keep things going in the right direction. A lot of stuff we’ve done has been very positive like the trade school downtown because without education you can’t get a workforce, without a workforce you can’t get people to come here.”
“I think we need to work together with the sheriff’s department, state police and the City of Alexandria Police Department to cover Alexandria and really the whole parish better.”
“People don’t want to be a policeman these days. We’ve increased our pay last year to what we can afford to pay.”
Bennett has run against Jules Green in District 1, two years ago. And last cycle ran against Lee Rubin for the other at-large seat. He had this to say about public safety.
“So the policing here is an issue and the high rate of crime has gotten worse within the last 15 years.”
“Well the solution is definitely policing, we need to upgrade our policing. We need to have a better protection plan.”
“One of the things I disagree with is the fighting and fussing that goes on we can’t seem to agree to disagree and come to a common goal.”
“This campaign season I would like to ask the citizens of Alexandria to look around the city, drive around and ask themselves are they satisfied with the way the city looks with the lack of growth. If the answer is no, it’s time for change.”