MANDEVILLE, La. (WVUE) - Mandeville voters will go to the polls in a few days to vote on the town’s first new mayor in 10 years. From drainage to development, five candidates have a wide range of perspectives in a campaign that’s been largely overshadowed during the COVID-19 crisis.
Outgoing Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere dons his face mask as he heads into City Hall.
It is a sign of the times and a big reason why voters haven’t seen too much of the five candidates in the running to take Villere’s place.
“I think there’s a dire need to reset the administration and the city council,” said candidate and longtime Planning and Zoning Commissioner Michael Blache.
One of Mandeville’s frequent challenges is drainage, as seen last month as Tropical Storm Cristobal flooded the lakefront neighborhood.
“We need to look at a lot of things like rip rap and do a die test to see where the waters coming from first,” said candidate and council veteran Clay Madden.
“I think the biggest thing is working with DOTD and see what kind of options are available and the cost of getting that to citizens,” said candidate and Safe Harbor Treasurer Brian Henly.
Candidate, and council veteran Laure’ Sica says on the council, she authored the resolution of form a coastal erosion committee to try and find flooding solutions, a process she said she is committed to in a statement.
Another candidate, Mandeville businessman Chad Bordelon says if elected he will eliminate the mayor’s position and leave drainage and other matters up to a hired professional.
“Instead of having an elected mayor we would have a professional CEO type position,” said Bordelon.
One of Mandeville’s biggest issues of the last five years has been what to do with this 80 acre piece of land. The $180 million Port Marigny project was ultimately killed by the council leading to a protracted court fight.
“Port Marigny was probably one the biggest debacles Mandeville has ever seen, probably ever,” said Blache.
Several candidates say the council should’ve never gotten involved and if elected mayor they would make sure to follow laws designed to let the planning and zoning commission decide such matters.
“I don’t think Port Marigny should’ve ever come to the city council it was a zoning issue,” said Madden.
Sica says quality of life would be her top priority if elected.
Brian Henly says he would focus on transparency.
“I was thinking we could do an interactive budget and make it easier for people to see how the money is being spent,” said Henly.
The stage is set for new leadership in Mandeville. The election is next Saturday.
Outgoing mayor Donald Villere has asked each of the five candidates to commit to keeping Mandeville Police Chief Gerald Sticker.
All said they would.