Denham Springs mayoral candidates participate in forum

Denham Springs mayoral candidates participate in forum

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Qualifying is a few weeks away, but the two men in the hunt for Denham Springs mayor have been on the campaign trail for months and the winner will be the first new mayor there in more than a decade.

Mayor Jimmy Durbin decided not to seek re-election, so Gerard Landry and John Wascom are now competing for the position.

Landry, a business owner and member of the city's planning and zoning committee, said his background will help him run Denham Springs like a business. He said those duties included managing the day-to-day operations, addressing issues - like the city's drainage - as well as acting as a salesman to bring in retail and restaurants if the voters want it.

Wascom, also a business owner, has been a city councilman for 16 years. He believes his time in that role has groomed him for a run at managing the city.

While both men agree that traffic is one of the larger issues that needs attention, they have opposing views on several other issues. One of those is how to grow the city.

"We have got to look at annexing more areas inside the city of Denham Springs for the future," said Wascom.

He mentioned possibly moving toward the Juban area.

"Annexation is not the answer to all our problems," Landry said. "Development within the city is the answer to get more sales tax within the city."

He also said the additional load on city police and the fire department would ruin the city's fire rating.

Voters will decide in November who will be Jimmy Durbin's successor.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.