Candidates focus on flood recovery, traffic in Dist. 9 Metro Council runoff

Candidates focus on flood recovery, traffic in Dist. 9 Metro Council runoff

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The stage is set for a battle in the runoff for the East Baton Rouge Metro Council District 9 seat.

This was the closest council race during November's primary election. Dwight Hudson beat Ken Perret by six percentage points, a little more than 900 votes.

Hudson is a real estate agent. He says Baton Rouge has lost appeal to homeowners over time and he wants to change that.

"I work with a lot of young families and every day, they're wanting me to take them to Ascension [Parish] or Livingston Parish," Hudson said. "Or worse, they're asking me to sell their house so they can move to Texas or North Carolina."

Perret is a retired transportation engineer. He wants to reduce the city's traffic and improve infrastructure.

"My background basically fits that to a tee," Perret said. "I know what can be done and what can't be done ... and I know how to get things done, starting with some smaller projects and working our way up to some major projects."

But both men say their number one priority is flood recovery.

Hudson's biggest concern is flood insurance. He wants to make sure Baton Rouge's rates are low as possible, as determined by the National Flood Insurance Community Rating System.

"I want to go in and look very specifically at what's called for in the community rating standards. Make sure that we're doing those things, make sure that we're aggressively maintaining our infrastructure so that we can keep those flood insurance rates low," Hudson added.

Perret wants to start by rebuilding small communities and decide what to do with abandoned buildings.

"The main thing is helping people restore their neighborhoods, because nothing is worse than having a bunch of abandoned houses. We saw that happen down in New Orleans after Katrina. Whole neighborhoods just became ghost towns," Perret explained.

Both men say they also want to increase the number of police officers on the streets and keep taxes low on homeowners and businesses.

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