Business development, public service Westlake applicants said
Published 6:32 am Friday, December 2, 2022
A clean Westlake, business development and community improvement are some of the common goals of Westlake runners. Mayoral candidates Michael Bergeron and Hal McMillin and City Council candidates Skeeter Hayes and Lori Peterson were invited to answer questions that had already been submitted at the Rotary Club of Westlake Candidate Runoff Forum held Thursday at the Pomeroy Center. About 40 citizens left to get to know each candidate better.
Sponsored by Rotarian Larry Agee. Skeeter Hayes had to leave early to attend a previously scheduled event. Each person in the book has two minutes to answer. Cierra George expected a timely response.
Peterson said he would put shoes on the floor, a personalized way to clean personal items.
“Some of the people who live here are elderly. The contractors came in and took their money to Houston. It will be necessary to interview every resident to identify those who are struggling with insurance or cannot afford it,” he said.
Bergeron agreed to talk to the residents, one by one, to find out the problem is important, but in many cases, plans are already underway and some situations have been resolved.
“We’ve identified many of those through the FEMA Personal Property Removal Program and 27 structures that need to be demolished or repaired,” Bergeron said.
He suggested using the proceeds of the casino for cleaning.
“I’m all for going when (FEMA) gave money but after two and a half years of waiting and many limits in other cities, and here our government really needs to step up and take care of our country and stop waiting for FEMA,” Bergeron said.
“Insurance companies are playing catch-up and people can’t get their junk out,” McMillin said. “We will pick up all the debris that has not been picked up. I know the mayor and council are working on that. “
Unlike Bergeron, he said having energy at FEMA is a goal
“I’m going to work to get a refund from FEMA and make sure we don’t take no for an answer,” McMillin said.
He also talked about the benefits of having a full-time code enforcement officer, not to carry a big stick to knock people down but to be there to “take care of it and if they (residents) don’t do it, then have it.” Rituals have enough teeth to compel.”
For Bergeron, growing the city’s business base comes down to having a great plan in place, and making tax credits available to “mom and pop” businesses, not just big businesses.
“As long as Westlake has tried to be a producer, we need to get away from that,” Bergeron said. “We cannot continue to support and support those types of projects. We need to support private investment.”
McMillin admits investing in private businesses is important.
“I’m a business development manager,” he said as he talked about the various information that can be provided to potential business owners. He said the Waffle House in Westlake will be built when the current Waffle House is demolished to house the new I-10 bridge.
“Westlake needs more than one grocery store,” he said.
He called development along the river, “a golden opportunity to build something big.”
“This is not a one-man thing,” he said, as he explained how the Police Department invites architects to submit design ideas before the project is completed.
It envisions a clean harbor, a marina and a marina, in addition to businesses such as restaurants.
“We have received a natural gift from God of a beautiful river that looks back to the east, one of the most beautiful scenes there is, If we have not done that in a few years and how many followed and made it the best it could be. shame on us.”
Bergeron said there has been a development plan for the beach since 2015 after the mayor’s secretary applied and was awarded a grant to develop such a plan. He also said that the local authorities have put a stop to the mobile homes, create commercial areas and economic areas and development areas.
“I will see that there is a dedicated economic development fund,” Bergeron said, “funds that will make us proactive rather than reactive when it comes to development.”
It’s the belief of Peterson, McMillin and Bergeron that seniors are important, but robo-search calls — alone — won’t be enough. A personalized touch and socializing with other members may be the best answer. Peterson was recently appointed to the Calcasieu Council on Aging Board and is exploring solutions for keeping seniors connected.