BGR Launches Candidate Q&A Series With Mayoral Candidates’ Views On Key Policy Issues

NEW ORLEANS – The BGR released “Questions for a New Mayor,” the first in a series of reports providing the views of mayoral and City Council candidates on important public policy issues facing the City of New Orleans (city) government. Next week, BGR will release the responses of the City Council candidates.

         “Questions for a New Mayor” provides voters with the candidates’ answers to 18 questions developed from BGR’s body of research. Some ask how the candidates will confront the challenges the city faces today, which include: addressing manpower and other needs of the New Orleans Police Department; retooling city employee pensions to manage risk and attract a high-quality work force; and fixing and maintaining street and drainage infrastructure.

         BGR sent its questionnaires in late July, prior to the Aug. 5 flooding. Therefore, BGR’s questions do not specifically address that event or its aftermath. Many of the candidates, however, do address the flooding in their responses.

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         “Questions for a New Mayor” also focuses on how the candidates will operate City Hall efficiently and effectively. This includes, among other things, how candidates will address professional services contracting, the civil service system and economic development subsidies. BGR also asks the candidates to propose specific ideas for how they would make City Hall work better for the citizens it serves.

         Finally, BGR asks how the candidates will work within – or try to change – two major constraints on the city’s finances: only 25 percent of local tax dollars are undedicated and available for broad municipal purposes, and approximately 60 percent of New Orleans real property is tax exempt.

         BGR did not reject any candidate’s submission.

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         Nine of the 18 mayoral candidates responded: Michael Bagneris, “Manny Chevrolet” Bruno, LaToya Cantrell, Desiree Charbonnet, Troy Henry, Matthew Hill, Frank Scurlock, Johnese Smith and Tommie A. Vassel. The other nine did not respond: Thomas Albert, Jr., Charles O. Anderson, Ed Bruski, Byron Stephan Cole, Edward Collins, Sr., Brandon Dorrington, Derrick Martin, Patrick Van Hoorebeek, and Hashim Walters.

         BGR president and CEO Amy L. Glovinsky said, “We hope that BGR’s Candidate Q&A series shines a light on major public policy issues facing the next mayor and council, and that it assists voters in deciding who their future leaders will be. We are grateful to the many mayoral and council candidates who participated in this exercise.”

         All reports in the 2017 Candidate Q&A Election Series for the Oct. 14 elections will be available here

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         View the first of seven installments here


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