Mayoral candidates face off at League of Women Voters Forum

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The race for mayor has incumbent Randy Roach seeking a third term, up against political new-comer William "Billy" Pharr. Both candidates say lakefront development is a top priority, but each have different views on the progress made so far.

"I would like to see the speed increased. It seems like there are a few projects underway right now, small projects, striping, some trees that were planted. I haven't seen any of the major projects started... I'm sure preliminary consulting and engineering need to be done. Of course that goes with any kind of project with any kind of magnitude, but I haven't seen any shovels hit the dirt on major projects downtown," said Pharr.

"We're going out for bids on the lakefront promenade project it's a 4 million dollar project we have a waterline, people don't think about utilities a water line is under construction for the next few days that's a 227,000 dollar project -- you will start to see some dirt turning. We've also got some other projects, we've got a marina project will be going out for construction in July that's a 1.7 million dollar project that will be at the south end. So you will see that lakefront come to life as the construction gets underway," said Roach.

And when it comes to who is the best qualified to lead Lake Charles over the next four years, the focus again turned to the lakefront.

"We need some action, we need some action in the office. I know there's been some talk that there has been some indecisiveness among the current administration. I would be here to make decisions that would benefit our city and improve our quality of life. We've touched on a lot of different things to recycling to litter to closing up ditches and building new streets, all those things need to occur and a decisive administration is what we need to get things done quickly," said Pharr.

"I would suggest to you that experience is important, and I would suggest to you that our administration has been extremely decisive in what we have done, but we have been very careful in what we have done because we understand and value the trust that the community has placed in us to not only build something but build it right. That lakefront is the only lakefront that we have and I'm not going to let political pressure me into compromising the values and standards of that lakefront. Because it's going to be here long after I'm gone," said Roach.

Voters head to the polls April 4th to decide.