ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - When Murphy Painter dropped out of the Ascension Parish president’s runoff race, Clint Cointment won by default.
“I think it’s a little overwhelming to a degree because it really hasn’t sank in to be honest,” Cointment said.
Cointment, who previously ran against current parish president, Kenny Matassa, in 2016, focused his campaign on fixing the drainage issues that have plagued the community.
“Even after the great flood of 2016, we’ve had some flash flooding of homes and that has to be remedied,” he said. “That has to be looked at. We need to look at the solutions for those particular areas.”
Cointment’s fix is his Drainage Maintenance Program. Included in this plan is a parish-wide cleaning of the drainage system, with regular maintenance after.
“It’s very important that I work with the drainage board and get input from them on how that structure is to look, how often the entire drainage system is checked, and how those issues are solved within the drainage system so that when we do have a major flooding or a major hurricane, that we’re prepared for those events,” he said.
Besides drainage and flooding issues, traffic is another problem Cointment wants to focus on.
“I don’t plan on doing a bunch of studies, but we need to work closely with DOTD and ensure if we can piggy back some of those projects, save money, we need to do that, that we don’t have a ton of money in roads, so we need to be efficient at every turn and make sure we’re getting the best bang for our buck," Cointment said.
Efficiency is a word Cointment stressed. He said he wants to complete projects in a way that does not tie up tax dollars and drag on for a long period of time.
“What you do is you don’t look at doing studies and studies and studies, but actual projects that citizens benefit from and that’s actual on the ground projects,” he said. “Projects that they see and benefit from.”
He’s talking about projects like improving recreational activities around the parish. To do that, he will have to rely on the parish council.
“They play a crucial role in this,” he said. “They set the regulation, they set the ordinances, they set the budget, so yeah, it’s very, very important that I reach out to every one of them and we have that working relationship and open communication.”
Cointment takes office Jan. 6, 2020.