Posted November 2019
Proactive Collaboration is the key to better Economic Development in Mandeville.
What image comes to your mind when the words “Economic Development” are spoken?
- Some think of trees getting clear cut.
- Some think of horrible traffic conditions.
- Some think of old drainage problems being replaced by new drainage problems.
- Some think of mindless strip malls and big-box parking lots being poured.
To a degree, all of these scenarios are realistic because they have happened in the past to one extent or another. However, smart business growth is possible. There is no reason we have to destroy the heart of Mandeville just because we need a road or add a retailer. We are actually lucky that so much big-box development has taken place in other parts of the parish. Mandeville doesn’t need any “big box’ retail. We have the luxury of being more selective about our business partnerships.
In fact, we have adequate empty retail space to allow additional growth to occur right within the current configuration. I would like to see upgrades – such as the Shell station that is being reborn near the foot of the Causeway. That’s improvement we can all enjoy. Or the planned conversion of k-Mart into a more productive and attractive retail space.
Long-Term Economic Viability
Mandeville needs to remain relevant and competitive in terms of attracting business. I believe that we need a master plan for this growth. I believe that we need the wise counsel of our citizens in this plan. As mayor, I will develop an economic development board for the long-term master plan of Mandeville. The group will be comprised of local business leaders, bankers, real estate professionals, developers, contractors, environmentalists and city/parish government leaders. They will be tasked to:
- Focus on Repurposing current commercial and residential vacant properties
- Streamline city permit and enforcement processes to encourage smart growth. Reduce uncertainty by providing clear, fair, and transparent development process, a predictable timeline for permits and follow the initial approval with consistent code enforcement.
- Collaboration with citizens, business and government leaders, to proactively seek out smart growth.
Improving the Status Quo
Most citizens simply want a safe, well maintained, community to live and raise their families in. We can improve upon what we already have in Mandeville. I see that as the job of the mayor and city council.
As mayor, my primary focus will be to support, equip and serve the City Hall staff. Because if the staff’s needs are met, they will be able to meet the needs of citizens. I will hold them accountable to that mission. City Hall is here to serve Mandeville. Vote me in and I will do the job.