The second of four candidate forums was held on Saturday at Pelican Point’s clubhouse with early voting for the October 12 election three weeks away . Four candidates for Ascension Parish President, six questions, and little deviation from their respective paths charted beforehand…what did we learn?
Ricky Diggs has little in the way of definitive plans, and less understanding of current Ascension Parish governmental operations than his three opponents. He fessed up to never having attended a meeting of the Parish Council at an earlier forum, swearing off anything to do with politics along the way. Diggs lists 29 years in the military, 25 as an educator, and a third career as Senior Safety Coordinator for Turner Industries as preparation for Ascension’s highest office.
There is much to appreciate about Mr. Diggs though having qualified to seek Ascension’s executive for a second time (he ran fourth in 2015’s five-man contest) one loses some of the luster from an anti-politics message. That is hard to hold against him since two of his opponents have positioned themselves as outsiders too. One of them has spent his entire working life on the taxpayers’ dime.
Diggs continues to assert that he will infuse “biblical principles to governing this parish.” As ardent proponents of the “Separation of Church and State” doctrine we find that more than a little disturbing while not doubting his sincerity at all. Diggs has joined the chorus blaming subdivision development for many of the ills confronting Ascension, without exhibiting more than a rudimentary understanding of the process or ideas to address those problems…drainage, traffic, etc.
At another forum, hosted by Little Prairie Baptist Church on August 29, Ricky Diggs said:
“New development has to pay for itself. Any burden that they put on any of the structures that’s already in place, they need to pay for it. Before they can build a subdivision they have to make sure that the community that’s already there, the individuals that are taking care of their property, that they will not be affected.
If they are affected, it needs to be corrected before they’re allowed to come and build in that area. We have to make that change.”
Question: How would President Ricky Diggs “make that change?”
Question: What safeguards would he put in place to ensure that existing property owners “will not be affected?”