City council candidates respond to questions

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters in Bogalusa’s District D will elect a new Bogalusa City Council member. Those who are running for the position include Scott Ard, Warren Bolds, Brian Mizell and Stacey M. Tallitsch.

Andy Deleon had held the seat, after being named to fill the vacated position after Malinda White became a state representative. Under city law, Deleon is ineligible to run for re-election to the position.

Each of the four candidates was provided a list of questions from The Daily News. All but Tallitsch responded. Their responses are published below:

How many years have you lived in Bogalusa?

Warren Bolds — More than 40 years.

Brian Mizell — The last three generations of my family were born and raised in Bogalusa. They are parents Wayne and Marie Mizell, my brothers Wade and Kevin, myself and my two children Kyle and Amanda.  I have lived in District D for 60 years, all of my life.

Scott Ard — Thirty years.

Why are you running for election?

Mizell — After retiring with 35 years at the Bogalusa Post Office, I started to consider running for the vacant District D council position, without a public announcement. I started getting phone calls and house calls from people asking me to please consider running for the council seat. So, being retired now, and with the prompting from citizens in District D, I felt this is a position that I can and need to pursue. I will devote a lot of time and energy to the council position if elected to help our community.

Ard — Because I know we can build a better Bogalusa. I will represent every citizen with respect, dignity and integrity. Team building and communications are essential in our community and as a member of the city council. When we talk or discuss concerns, I actively listen, instead of waiting to speak. As your councilman your voice will always be heard loud and clear.

Bolds — Isaiah 40:28-29 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord Jehovah is the everlasting God!

What improvements would you like to make in your district?

Ard — Find solutions to our ongoing concerns: infrastructure, general improvements, activities for children, education, crime reduction, and litter/blight abatement. Improve quality of life features by researching new ideas and concepts that have been successful elsewhere. Bogalusa is home to amazing people, and who deserve the very best.

Bolds — Relationships with God’s people, the Church and at home.

Mizell — I would like to see the blighted properties in the Pleasant Hill area restored. There are non-profit organizations that can access state and federal grants to make these properties livable and affordable to our community.

Overall, what improvements would you like to see made in the city?

Bolds — Love, respect, and teamwork. Helping with hope.

Mizell — I would like to work towards community safety by fighting crime with grants for local law enforcement, enhanced neighborhood watch programs, community proactive education activities and customizing our own crime prevention programs from researching programs across our nation that have proven to be effective and successful.

Ard — I’d like to see Bogalusa thriving, not merely existing. We can be a final destination, instead of a stop along the way. Our beautiful city needs restoration and development of sustainable features.

Grow our city: we must keep people and a steady revenue stream at home.

Rebrand our city: develop the appeal and quality of life features that define us.

Develop recreational venues: whether a dinner theater, outdoor recreation, or indoor options.  Seek nontraditional investors such as non-profits or citizen owned entities.   

Community essentials: schools, emergency services, and public works. Each must be elevated upward on a continuing basis.

Economic growth and jobs: continue networking and marketing efforts that display our city to multiple business streams.

What do you like best about Bogalusa?

Mizell — I like the small town feeling of Bogalusa. Most people know each other. It is affordable to live here. I still have childhood friendships that have lasted 55 years. And people are always ready to lend a helping hand in time of need.

Ard — The thing I like best is that we are people of faith, who love and honor God. We thank Him often and without reservation, our faith is well founded.

Every person with breath in their lungs should choose to be people of one accord, not defined by skin color or ethnic origin. It is not about black or white, it is about doing right.

Lastly, when things are trying, we grow stronger. Adversity creates humble hearts in every person. The motivation and energy we give back each day is uncommon. I am proud to live and work in Bogalusa, and firmly believe the best is yet to come.

Bolds — We are stars, the people. All of us!

Given the fact that the city has limited financial resources, how can the city improve itself, while staying within budget?

Ard — Major improvements are not possible if the money is not available. We must maintain essential aspects only until the money is available.

State law forbids us to write “hot checks,” when funds do not exist to properly fund the project. When seeking state or federal government interaction, the process is painfully slow.

As with any budget matter, we must take a critical look at every element, and never make uniformed decisions. Our last financial review was healthy and proves that solid financial management is in place.

Bolds — It’s time for the people, mayor and council people to reinvest our money back in our community, with faith in God! I would to thank the Bogalusa Daily News for contacting us and giving us the chance to speak and be heard by people of Bogalusa.

Mizell — Recognizing the fact the city has limited resources, I believe it is important to stretch every dollar possible. I would work on gaining the greatest economic returns to taxpayers by improving the efficiency of many everyday services provided by the city. For example: basic training and creating standards of procedures in repairing potholes would provide a greater return to taxpayers for the money they invest in our roads.

I know there is street repair machinery that can efficiently and effectively repair potholes that could possibly be leased or purchased to give the street a smooth finished repair.