I appreciate the opportunity to share with your readers my thoughts on the first three and a half years of my term as Ascension Parish Councilman for District 10. In response to your first question,” How would you characterize John Cagnolatti’s 3.5 years on the council (of what are you most proud, any regrets, etc)?”
The last 3.5 years have been some of the most rewarding and challenging times of my life. I am proud of the accomplishments listed below (in no certain order).
- Traffic Impact Fees – After years of kicking the can down the road, in April of 2016 the Council imposed traffic impact fees on new developments. Since this ordinance became law, over $7 million has been generated to improve our infrastructure.
- Move Ascension Program – The single biggest problem facing Ascension Parish is traffic congestion. For the first time that I can recall, the Parish Council has made a meaningful and significant investment in improving traffic in Ascension Parish. The total program invests more that $35 million in roads without raising taxes.
- Sewer System – After almost 30 years of talking about a parish wide sewer system, during this term it became a reality. No longer will 2.3 million gallons of treated affluent be dumped in Bayou Manchac. The regional sewer treatment will be funded by a public-private partnership; therefore, no new taxes were needed.
- Economic Development – Supported, approved funding and worked closely with Ascension Economic Development Corporation. Since January 2016 six new projects and ten expansion projects have invested over $2,185,000,000 and created 508 new jobs in Ascension Parish
- Citizens Service Center – Approved concept and funding for direct phone line for citizens to request assistance and be contacted within 48 hours by proper Parish department or agency.
- Drainage – Made significant improvements to reduce the risk of flooding: installed seventh pump at Marvin Braud Pump Station; funded New River drainage improvement project; and reinstated the Parish-wide drainage maintenance program.
- Animal Services – With voter-approved funding, the Animal Service Department will be expanded and a new animal shelter will be constructed.
- Master Plan – Contracted CPEX to develop comprehensive Master Plan to include land use, transportation, drainage and recreation to provide Planning Commission guidelines for managing future growth.
I am also fully aware that I alone cannot take credit for all the progress made over the past three and a half years. I am one of eleven Council Members and working very well together we were successful in getting these projects and programs approved. I am thankful for my fellow Council Members because we all recognize that when we work together, good things happen for the people. Our accomplishments represent “progress” for Ascension Parish and I remain committed to working hard for “continued progress” in District 10 and all of Ascension Parish.
And the second question, “What do you hope to accomplish in the future?”
We have made tremendous strides in the last three and a half years, but there’s always room for improvement. I want to continue to work with my fellow Council Members to keep these and other projects and programs moving forward. We must remain vigilant regarding infrastructure and growth, work diligently to find the balance between property owner rights and regulations that will protect citizens from infringement on their existing dwellings. I vow to continue to foster and maintain good relationships with our Sheriff and School Board, our Congressional Delegation in Washington, D.C., our Louisiana Congressional Delegation in Baton Rouge and our local Municipal Elected Officials. And, of course, we as a Council must “stay on track” with the issues of drainage, infrastructure, recreation, and citizen’s services. I will introduce a resolution to recognize and acknowledge the volunteers serving on all of Ascension Parish’s Boards and Commissions. They deserve our thanks and appreciation for their service.
I want to assure the people of District 10 and all of Ascension Parish that I will continue to be accessible and I will respond to your calls, emails and texts; ready to engage whatever resources necessary to resolve your issues and concerns.
In closing, I am truly grateful for the confidence and trust that my constituents and supporters in District 10 and throughout Ascension Parish have placed in me to serve for the past three and a half years. I pledge to continue to serve the citizens of District 10 with enthusiasm, to insure the services provided to you are effective and done efficiently, and to remain dedicated to improving the “Quality of Life” for our people. I ask for your continued support as I ask for your vote on October 12th, to keep Ascension Parish and District 10 moving forward so it will be, forever, the absolute “best” place in the world to live, work and raise a family.
God Bless Ascension Parish!
John Cagnolatti – Councilman, District 10