After tonight’s debate, I caught up with the mayorial candidates in attendance and I asked all three of them the same exact questions. Here’s Mayorial candidate Wayne Carter.
Louisiana Conservative: What do you consider Baton Rouge’s most pressing matter?
Wayne Carter: I think right now probably traffic. We need to move our people around this parish and the current administration has failed to do that. He endorses the loop, he says that’s his solution to traffic because the chamber supports it. As you know I have a traffic plan, I want to platoon the time we go to work, local, state, and federal government. I want to create a truck route from across the river and move those to 190 and possibly send some down Airline highway, some down 110 south. Those are a couple of things that can move our traffic.
LC: I think you just answered my next question How would you improve the traffic and infrastructure? Let’s move on.
LC: City finances and taxes, what do you think needs to be done?
WC: Well right now we are overtaxed. This administration has taxed everything from sewer, impact fees, transportation fees, gaming fees, the list goes on and right now we need to live within our budget. The city has had surplus dollars and this administration has squandered almost 180 million dollars there. What we need to do is go in and actually reduce the size of government and give more services back to the people.
LC: Crime in Baton Rouge. How would you lower the crime rate?
WC: Crime rate in Baton Rouge is out of hand. I have a couple of solutions. We’re going to do like Rudy Giuliani did in New York, we’re going to get the criminals off the street. One thing that I’ve recommended is we house minimum security or misdemeanors and put our felons in parish jail. Assign judges to misdeamors and felons, that moves them up quicker on the docket. And one of the things I’m looking at is possibly buying the old Judson institute up on 964 that they want to close. I want to go to the Governor and tell them we want that facility. We will house misdemeanor inmates there because you’re mixing inmates that are misdemeanors with felons and sometimes they become felons. We’re spending millions of dollars out of parish to house prisoners, 5 or 6 million dollars a year. We need to stop that and bring that money back here. I think if we do that we can re-evaluate the need for a new jail.
LC: Do you plan on voting for the bond issue? Why or why not?
WC: Emphatically NO. I’m against the bond issue. I’m against building parking garages at taxpayers expense, parking fees pay for those. I’m against downtown hotels, let them build those, we don’t want to be funding hotels or parking garages for someone else, not at taxpayers expense. I think public safety should have been separated in this issue, it wasn’t, therefor I think the voters are going to vote this down.
LC: What qualifies you to be our mayor?
WC: I do not need any on the job training. I’ve been on the [city] council for 8 years. I have first hand experience of this city government and the workings of it and I can turn this city around from day one on and I intend on doing that.