The two candidates vying to replace outgoing District 8 Councilman Jerry LaFont have placed communication and unity among council members and the parish president as their top priorities. 

District 8 includes the Cut Off area, from just south of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Larose to West 106th and East 74th streets.

The election will be held Oct. 12, with early voting Sept. 28 to Oct. 5.

The two candidates, Alces P. Adams and D'Lynn Boudreaux, agree on the need for tax reform and business growth. Both say a new parish president will provide a clean slate for the council and administration to work together.

The two candidates disagree, however, on possible changes to the parish charter. Adams said he didn't support the last round of changes and would want to revisit many of the issues, including why the parish president is included as a member of the Parish Council.

Boudreaux said she doesn't see the need for any changes to the charter yet.

Adams has been more detailed about his hopes for developing the parish economy, citing the state's growing opportunities for hemp production.

Here are the candidates' answers to The Courier and Daily Comet’s campaign questionnaire. Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

Adams: Communicate with my constituents by answering and returning phone calls; address the issues voters are bringing to me now that I am a candidate; meet with voters who have been calling for tax reform the last couple of years.

Boudreaux: Unity within the council and administration; working with the drainage board to solve issues happening within our parish; and tax reform because of Lafourche Parish being the highest in sales tax.

How can the Parish Council foster economic development?

Adams: I've always advocated for a diversified economy. To get that, we must provide a favorable business climate to attract jobs. We must implement programs that have brought economic diversity to west Acadiana. We must be attentive to potential economic drivers as they become available and make that info available to the public so interested parties may act on it. For example, do people know hemp will soon be available as a crop, that factories can be built to process hemp, that maybe the paper mill can be used to make paper out of hemp? Is anyone preparing to make use of that info?

Boudreaux: We need to find a way to make our area more inviting to companies to want to do business in Lafourche.

How would you resolve the decades of tensions between the administration and council?

Adams: I would enter office intending to get along with the executive branch. All branches must work together whether we like it or not. Power plays, obsession with petty disagreements and the like are not conducive to progress. We have enough real problems without inventing new and unnecessary issues. Agree to disagree while moving forward. With a new president, we begin with a new slate. Let's take advantage of that. Otherwise, specific solutions are dependent on specific problems.

Boudreaux: I feel with the right president in office and a council ready to work together and not against one another, we can do great things for everyone in our parish. If District 1 has problems, we should all do our best to help that district. Not picking on any district in particular. Just an example.

What should the Parish Council do to address coastal restoration and hurricane protection?

Adams: Not much. Coastal restoration affects more than one parish. Jurisdiction and cost make it a state or federal issue. I would certainly support anything we could do. If it's obvious nothing will be done (we're two years past the point of no return), someone needs to call a retreat that it may be done in an orderly fashion. It's better to drive away on dry blacktop than have the Coast Guard pick us up. The elevated highway to Fourchon is a monument to the fact that the government will secure access to oil, but they will do nothing for us.

Boudreaux: The Parish Council should work together with all the other entities in our area.That includes the Lafourche and Terrebonne levee boards.

Would you support any changes to the parish charter? If so, what changes would you make?

Adams: Yes, I voted against the charter because it's fundamentally flawed. In one section, the president is a member of the council; in another, the executive and legislative branches are separated. How can you be separate from a branch of which you're a member? I'm sure there are other issues worthy of attention.

Boudreaux: At this time I do not have any changes I would want to impose.

Do you think parish government has enough money to provide the services residents want and expect? Would you vote for a tax if you were convinced the money would go to a necessary public service? Please explain your reasoning.

Adams: Not being a councilman, I haven't studied the budget. Since we're in a recession caused by the oil industry, I would expect the government to be as strapped for funds as we are. If elected, I'll meet with constituents who are calling for corrections to the existing tax structure. My support for new taxes or tax renewals must wait until I've completely examined the current tax situation.

Boudreaux: I feel our government can handle what is in place now. And we are taxed enough. We could possibly look into moving money around.

Are there services you would propose cutting if you are elected? What are they and why would you seek to reduce or eliminate them?

Adams: My answer must wait until I've examined our current situation.

Boudreaux: No cuts on services. However, everything is open to discovery and discussion.