May 19, 2021
Recently there was a meeting with several area HOA reps, parish rep, Bonnie Champagne, and Matt Ruffo, who is in charge of creating a guide for St. Tammany Parish's growth and direction for the next twenty years. The guide itself is neutral in the sense that there is no specific wording to indicate what to expect. An example is: "..how appropriate is a desirable, sustainable quality of life?" this is something everyone would want, but it doesn't provide a way to arrive at that. We were told that would come later. Those of us who represented our area explained to Ruffo just what we wanted to see and what we didn't want to see ruled.
The following is a "wish list" provided by local attendees:
1. We prefer actual steps that can be implemented to work toward goals that would benefit Southeast Slidell. The presentation provided is flowery, but non-specific.
2. We requested a parish representative who lives here in Southeast Slidell and works as a liaison between here and parish government to have the president's ear.
3. We requested a Justice of the Peace to handle matters faster, less expensively, and more efficiently than the Slidell City Court System.
4. We requested the parish put money into the flood program via the St. Tammany Parish Levee, Drainage, and Conservation District Board.
5. We feel the southeast side of our parish is neglected and serves as the part of the parish that provides the steps to get federal dollars for the parish itself. The programs that provide assistance to the needy already exist in other parishes as well as here in St. Tammany.
The programs that take from our tax base don't need to be increased.
6 There should be tax incentives to attract those who would contribute to our tax base.
7. NO LOCAL BUS SERVICE is needed here, but a fast-rail system to New Orleans and Baton Rouge would serve those who work in or near those areas.
8. The drainage from parish run off is designed to go to the Schneider Canal which empties into Lake Pontchartrain along Hwy. 11. The spawning of crabs, shrimp, and fish is being killed by the drainage which contains chemicals deposited on roads.
9. There should be a no-nonsense approach to crime with new incentives to get other people to join the force.
10. Education scores, etc. will improve by adopting a disciplinary plan, not by contributing more money. Compare budgets in the private/parochial schools and the public schools.
11. Our medical facilities have become a monopoly. Buying up our area hospitals needs to stop. Our physicians should be in charge of our health problems, not a conglomerate that controls health practices.
12. No short-term rentals in neighborhoods that are zoned "single-family" dwellings.
If the purpose of the draft is to propose what our residents expect and want for the next twenty years, those thoughts are not represented. The draft is full of "pie-in-the-sky" ideas without any direction. More on this in the future...
Today is the last day to give names of this year's high school and college graduates.
Please include from where the person graduated.
Flood protection for our area is moving along especially since the ACoE has taken positive steps toward being on board for the plans that have been presented by the board.