Meet the candidates: Calcasieu Parish Police Jury District 1

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Editor’s note: The American Press asked Calcasieu Parish Police Jury candidates to answer the same two-part question to help voters in their districts make up their minds on Saturday, Oct. 14. The following article includes the response from seven of the 14 candidates, in the order listed on the website. The next printed edition of the paper will have the responses from the remaining seven candidates.

In the Calcasieu Parish Police Juror race, Brian Abshire, District 2; “Ron” Hayes, District 1; Chris Landry, District 7; “Tony” Stelly, District 10; Roger Marcantel, District 11, Judd Bares, District 12; Joe Andrepont, District 13; “Randy” Burleigh, District 14 and “Tony” Tramonte, District 15 are unopposed.

Voters in Calcasieu Parish District 1 will choose between Reath Chauvin and Darby Quinn. (Ashton Richard held that seat last term.)

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Shawntel Carter-Willis, Emile LeVon Fontenot and incumbent Michael “Mike” Smith will vye for District 2. 

In District 3, the race is between incumbent Eddie Lewis Jr. and Shelly Mayo.

Here’s how they answered the question, “If you are limited to accomplishing only one goal if you are elected to office, what is the one thing you would like to accomplish, and how would you do it?”

Reath Chauvin:

It has become clear that the number one concern of the people of Moss Bluff is the poor drainage conditions throughout the Parish. It is an interconnected problem and until we solve the issues Parish-wide, our property owners will continue to suffer. The citizens are not only burdened with recurring property damage, but also high flood insurance premiums.

It is my understanding that the latest drainage project (The Calcasieu Parish Waterway Project) is at best 50% complete and the funds that were budgeted are gone. Also, about 5 years ago, during a KPLC interview, one of our Police Jurors admitted that we were over 10 years behind on ditch maintenance. These types of deficiencies are not acceptable. Neither is it acceptable to keep these deficiencies hidden from the public. The first order of business is to bring forth accountability. Along with accountability comes progress. We may need to have the Police Jury more involved in important decisions such as our drainage which will give our citizens a voice.

The Police Jury should search out those capable of completing projects without losing sight of the budget. We do know that the water will continue to come our way year after year, and we can’t keep kicking the can down the road. We must spend our money wisely and efficiently. Let’s keep our citizens informed of our progress whether it’s good news or bad. Only then will those in charge be held accountable.

– Reath Chauvin, Candidate for Police Juror District 1

Darby Quinn:

Ultimately, at the end of my term, my goal would be for the citizens of District 1 to feel that their representative was a good steward of their money and that I was successful in improving the quality of the lives of the citizens of District 1.

I would place a high priority on the completion of the additional Phases of the River Bluff Park, to include pavilions, additional parking, and a kayak launch, however I have seen a serious need for a Basketball/Community Center for the residents of Ward 1.  Each of these projects would provide additional opportunities for the youth and for family recreation in my district and can be obtained within the current level of funding.

I would like to see a Dog Park at the Soccer Facility and improvements to the playground equipment there, to include an All-Abilities accessible area. There are several road and drainage projects that I have been working on as President of Consolidated Gravity Drainage District #2 that I would continue to see to completion, including upgrades to road crossings at Executive and Sharon Drive, as well as Debra and Gateway Lanes.

I would like to bring back the raised gardens and enhance the offerings at the Senior Center.

How am I going to do this? By putting my 17 years of experience with Parks and Recreation and the Drainage Board to work for the people of District 1.  I will also build on relationships that I already have with current Police Jurors and the SWLA delegation.