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Q&A with Plain Dealing mayor candidates

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Amanda Simmons
amanda@bossierpress.com

Next month will see voters make big decisions about the future of their nation and their town, with Plain Dealing voters picking a new mayor.

Residents will have two choices —Donna Canales (no party) and Dave Smith (R).

The Bossier Press-Tribune was able to speak with the candidates and asked them the following questions:
1. Why are you running for Mayor of Plain Dealing?
2. What will be your priority for the town and why?
3. What do you want to say to potential voters?

Below, you can read their responses [Ed.’s note: calls to Donna Canales were not returned by press time].

David Smith
1. I was mayor 12 years ago. I was mayor for three terms (1999-2005). I knew the incumbent was not running at this time and decided that our town needed another direction. So I decided I would run.
2. First thing, we’ve been having a lot of problems with our water system and having to send letters out about the water not passing the test. It seems like we get letters pretty often. That will be one of the things I address. When I was in there last, I maybe had to send out two or three of those in six years. It seems like now we’re getting them every two or three months. We’re not alone in that. A lot of the little towns with these small water systems are having the same problems because the state has raised some of the levels that you have to chlorinate the water, which causes the other things in there to get out of kilter. (?) The town has taken some steps to fix that, but one of my goals is to not have those letters going out like that.
3. What I would like to do is be more transparent and forward to where everyone knows what is going on between the mayor and the [town] council. I want the citizens to know what we’re doing if we’re trying to fix a problem or if they have concerns, I want them to bring those to the council and let us take action on them. There’s going to be some issues with our state’s financial system. Most little towns like ours, we live by getting grants to fix the infrastructure. Our town is in good shape financially. We don’t essentially have any debt, but we still depend on those grants. Whether or not those will be available with the state’s situation being so dire, I don’t know. We’re going to have to work to keep our infrastructure in good shape. We need to keep what jobs we do have here, but we also need to be open if the right opportunities come along to bring businesses here. That’s hard to do in such a little town, but that’s going to be one of our goals too. We can’t promise to bring in new industry, but we can try.