Meet The Candidates: Councilman At-Large Division B

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

  • Michael Wright

 

Date of Birth: April 29

Profession/ Current Employer/ Retired: Director of Market Development – AMSURG

Why did you choose to run for Parish Council? I originally chose to run and was elected in 2011 after spending years serving the parish through community service. As a husband and father of three, I’m invested in the future success of our parish.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? St. John is at a critical point and an experienced leader is necessary to move our Parish forward. With over $100 million in infrastructure improvements underway, experience will be vital to see these critical projects through to completion. It has been an honor to serve the residents, and I have done so with honesty and integrity. We have much work left to do, but it will require ready and experienced leadership to get them done.

What is the No. 1 concern impacting St. John Parish residents, and how do you plan to address this? Drainage. The new Hurricane Protection Levee is designed to be a storm surge protection levee. It is the Parish’s responsibility to ensure all drainage arteries drain to the burrow canal. We’ve begun the process of hiring expert firms to utilize the latest hydraulic data to help us plan for drainage projects to be associated with the levee. I’ve sat at the table with the Corps of Engineers – I’ve been a voice for our community and hope to continue the great work we have started.

What would you like to accomplish in the next four years? We have over $100 million in drainage, water and sewerage upgrades, a $1.5 billion Hurricane Protection Levee and millions of other infrastructure upgrades currently under design and construction. It’s imperative to have continuity in leadership to ensure these projects are completed. My commitment to the residents is to continue this great work we have started with more on the way.

 

  • Bernard “Benny” Tassin, III

 

Date of Birth: October 11

Profession/ Current Employer/ Retired: UPS

Why did you choose to run for Parish Council? I’m running for Parish Councilman at Large because I see a pressing need in our community, especially for our kids. There’s a serious lack of activities for them here in the parish, aside from recreation. Parents have to take their kids out of the parish just to find some entertainment. Back when I was growing up, we had a movie theater and a bowling alley, which might not have been much, but it gave us something to do. Now, there’s absolutely nothing for them. I strongly believe that if we provide them with something to occupy their time, it’ll help reduce senseless crimes, like auto break-ins. Another issue I see is division within the council as a whole. My goal is to bring unity and show that we’re better and stronger together. I don’t have any political connections, but I have a strong desire to make a positive change in our community. Let’s work together to make it happen!

What is the No. 1 concern impacting St. John Parish residents, and how do you plan to address this? Lack of transparency is a significant concern in St. John Parish. As your councilman, I will prioritize open communication and ensure that residents have access to information about local government decisions and processes. Transparency is crucial for building trust and fostering a strong community. Let’s work together to create a more transparent and accountable parish!

What would you like to accomplish in the next four years?  In the next four years, I want to see a vibrant and thriving parish with plenty of activities and entertainment options for our children. Additionally, I hope for significant economic development that brings new businesses and job opportunities to our community. Let’s work together to create a prosperous future for everyone! Infrastructure is a key aspect of community development. Lastly as your councilman At large, I will prioritize investing in our infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and utilities. By improving our infrastructure, we can enhance connectivity, attract businesses, and improve the overall quality of life for residents. Let’s work together to build a stronger and more resilient St. John Parish!