Minden City Council District C candidates participate in Q & A

Four candidates are vying for the opportunity to present District C for Minden City Council. They are incumbent Vincen Bradford Maretta Gage, Javelin Hardy and Latasha Mitchell.

Recently, Webster Parish Journal emailed a Question and Answer document to all candidates multiple times, using the email address on file at the Secretary of State’s office. One candidate chose not to respond and was text messaged.

Questions and answers are below with responses in alphabetical order.

1. What are three steps you would take to improve the city’s financial stablity?

Bradford: Did not respond.

Gage: Get a briefing on the City’s Financial Stablity, get with Council Members and The Mayor to see how we can bring New Businesses to Our City and come up with economic growth plan to bring more businesses to the city.

Hardy: We should implement a needs assessment for the City of Minden to evaluate what jobs are needed in the community that will bring more revenue to the city and income to families. 2. We need to establish relationships with companies who can bring more jobs to the City of Minden. District C has no grocery stores on this side of town like Wal-Mart, Brookshires or a pharmacy. 3. We also need to apply for more federal funding and community grants.

Mitchell: The three steps I would take to improve the city financial stability is to create a comprehensive budget, create a plan for finances, create and have an emergency fund.

2. Minden has seen a study decline with population the past couple of censuses. How would you stop it?

Bradford: Did not respond.

Gage: People don’t come here because  of all shooting the City has had so I would have the Police to ride frequently  thru the neighborhoods it would cut down on violence and  crimes if the people was to feel safe they would come back to Our City.

Hardy: Unfortunately, Minden previous leaders put the community in a financial bind by signing a contract to increase utility bills which caused neighbors to start moving. First, we should make sure the city attorney reviews all contracts and have the communities’ best interests at hand and not get us involved in contracts that will cause the community to move due to high cost in electricity. We need to find new ways to produce our own energy by looking into Solar Panels and Windmills. We need to become resourceful and pay the community better wages so they can afford to live in Minden as well. For a city to thrive you must bring companies and businesses to bring jobs to the community to build the economy. We also must pay a living wage to be able to afford to reside in the City of Minden. 

Mitchell: I would stop the steady decline by bringing more jobs to the area and maintaining economic activity and employment.

3. What are the pressing needs in your district and how do you plan to address them?

Bradford: Did not respond.

Gage: A curfew for 18 and under children, abandon properties and speed bumps in neighborhoods and more children at play signs.

Hardy: There are a lot of condemn homes in District C that need to be demolished. I’ve spoken to community neighbors, and they would love to have an additional park, food bank, a grocery store and community garden.We’re in need of social services in this area and applying for community grants to improve the community.

Mitchell: One of our pressing needs in my district is Safety. I plan to address that by city protection and improve lighting on the streets. The second pressing need is clean environment. I plan to address that by volunteer clean ups in the area and neighborhoods and encourage each other to keep property and streets clean.

4. What part do you intend to play in making this a cohesive, cooperative council?

Bradford: Did not respond.

Gage: To follow All guidelines and regulations and treat the Mayor and Councilman with Respect, Team work makes the Dream work.

Hardy: My goal and objective is to remain calm and collective in stressful situations especially when making decisions for others. We should all practice emotional intelligence to acknowledge and learn we all have different backgrounds and demographics. Doing my part by answering and returning phone calls and being prepared for meetings and workshops by reading documents and being prepared to review and give input. Be a listening ear and accept all others ideas, suggestions and experience in a collaborative manner. I’m a contributor and a great council is using everyone’s strengths and skills when working on projects and making decisions for the City of Minden. So research and collaboration is key for this council. Being a great communicator is a great assist that will help us all get along and respect one another. We should be supportive, considerate, relaxed and enthusiastic. We can respectfully challenge one another when someone has a different opinion on a matter that may cause harm and weigh important options especially if we could stand a financial loss. So having a team member “perspective” that We work Together! Is a must!

Mitchell: My part I intend to play to make this a cohesive, and cooperative council is to Focus on building the community, Encouraging communication, and structure goals and values.

5. What do you see as top priority for the city and why?

Bradford: Did not respond.

Gage:   Pay increase for the Police Officers so we can hire more qualified  officers to Patrol our City and get a better communication  between  Police Officers and The Community  So We can Make Minden a place you want to Come Visit or Stay.

Hardy: We need to be self-sufficient in providing our own electricity to the City by brining solar panels to decrease the electricity bills. Find a better way to pay off the contract that’s causing the current electricity bills to be so high. Finding federal grants and funding to establish programs for children and families in the community. We need to make sure we have more social workers and counselors in the schools and better pay for first responders. 

Mitchell: I see top priority for the city is economic development. We need to build a better place for people. We need a thriving economy, clean environment and our streets need to be safe.

The election is Tuesday, November 8.

Early voting is Oct. 25 through Nov. 1 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 30) from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the registrar’s office in the courthouse.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 4 by 4:30 p.m (other than military and overseas voters). You can request an absentee ballot online through the Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office.

The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted absentee ballot is Nov. 7 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).

On election day, the polls are open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. If you are unsure of your voting precinct, please call 377-9272.