Housing, transportation and growth shape DeQuincy mayor’s race

Dequincy Mayoral Race extended interviews

DEQUINCY, LA (KPLC) - Transportation, future growth, and beautification all top the list as priorities for the mayoral candidates in DeQuincy.

Either candidate would be a first for the city of DeQuincy.

Political newcomer Riley Smith says in the time that he’s lived in DeQuincy, he’s seen a definite need for growth in the area. He feels that growth can start with his vision of making necessary improvements to the city’s exterior.

If elected, Smith would become the first mayor elected in at least 80 years who is not a DeQuincy native.

Smith has been a business owner for over 16 years. According to him, what he brings to the table is a working knowledge of growing a business, generating new business, balancing a budget, and working with people. He wants to see DeQuincy marketed as a great place to live and raise families.

“We would focus a lot on the beautification of DeQuincy. I’d like for us to have sidewalks,” Smith said. “If we, as citizens, take care of our community then that will spark the growth of new investments and businesses.”

Also on the ballot is life-long resident Heather Royer. If elected, she would become the first female mayor for the city of DeQuincy. She too feels that better infrastructure will play a vital role. However, she wants the focus to be on the youth and providing more services to the elderly.

“Working in the healthcare field has given me the opportunity to work with our seniors. I had a hand in bringing the senior center here. So, I think I would be able to benefit our youth and our elderly and provide opportunities for our businesses to grow,” said Royer.

Royer, who grew up in Dequincy, highlights her many years of experience. Besides her service as the business liaison for Dequincy Memorial Hospital and her involvement with the city’s senior services program, she has worked in the healthcare system for 10 years.

Rounding out the race is long-time resident and pastor, James Harris. If elected, Harris would become DeQuincy’s first black mayor.

In his bid for mayor, he references the need for improved drainage along with unity and bringing the community back together.

“I do think we have some concerns about our sewage and our drainage system,” said Harris. “The most important thing I’ve learned over the years is that one person or one individual will not accomplish much, but if we unify and bind together, we can do great things together.”

Harris, a life-long resident of DeQuincy, recently celebrated 20 years of service to the Evergreen Baptist Church. He is an honorably discharged Staff Sergeant of the United States Air Force who served in Vietnam. He also attests his knowledge to many years of running his own businesses, managing trade school classrooms, and pastoring community churches.

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