Four south Terrebonne natives are vying for a spot on the Parish Council this year, representing District 9.

Those qualified to be on the ballot are: Wallace Ellender, Perry J. Naquin, Mike Pellegrin and incumbent Steve Trosclair.

District 9 includes Montegut, Pointe-aux-Chenes and a portion of Bourg.

The election will be held Oct. 12, with early voting Sept. 28 to Oct. 5. If one candidate does not receive more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will be held Nov. 16.

Here are the candidates’ answers to The Courier and Daily Comet’s campaign questionnaire. Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.  Pellegrin did not submit a response.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

Ellender: No answer.

Naquin: Drainage, sidewalk repair, listen to people.

Trosclair: Continue flood protection and drainage projects, continue to push for barrier island restoration, continue to improve recreation. 

Do you think the 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.

Ellender: We are one of the highest taxed parishes/counties in the country. We have to spend our taxpayers' dollars wisely and not tax our taxpayers any higher. So yes we have enough, and no we should not tax our people to death.

Naquin: Drainage.

Trosclair: Government has enough money to provide residents with the services that are needed to provide a safe environment with the conveniences and necessities expected by the taxpayers. I would not support any new taxes.

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

Ellender: Spending on totally unnecessary projects, such as parking lots when we already have a multilevel parking facility. Services rendered should be reviewed on a regular basis.

Naquin: None.

Trosclair: I don't think we need to cut any services that are currently being offered to our citizens. We may need to maybe restructure how some of these are implemented.

What are some specific ways you would like to see Terrebonne diversify its economy?

Ellender: Expanding our airport could boost our economy, however we need to focus on our strengths such as our medical community and our recreational fishing industry, which are arguably are the best in the nation. Having Houma as a medical hub like a MD Anderson can happen. No one can beat our fishing.

Naquin: The people would.

Trosclair: I would like to see more technology firms. I would like to see the airport expand even more than the plans in effect now with the unmanned aircraft program currently in progress.

Do you think the steps taken to reform recreation have been enough? What changes would you like to see, if any.

Ellender: I believe that individual districts who tax themselves should make their own decisions as to reforms. If any district wants to join with another, let them. If they don't, let's not force them to do so.

Naquin: Yes.

Trosclair: I do not think we are done. I would like to see soccer, more programs for handicapped, recreation facilities try to implement programs maybe using electronics to entice youth to their facilities.

Would you favor or oppose abolishing the parish's 11 recreation districts and operating recreation as a parish service like drainage or roads? Explain your reasoning.

Ellender: A one size fits all recreation simply won't work. Each district has its own needs, wants and desires. It is important for each community to have its own identity. This is why I oppose giving any parish president line item veto power over recreation districts.

Naquin: Need attention.

Trosclair: I strongly oppose any consolidation of recreation districts. The recreation districts know their needs better than anyone outside.

How can Terrebonne modernize and prepare for the population growth of new generations that depend on/use more technology?

Ellender: By allowing all communication companies into the area to compete among themselves would naturally modernize technology and prepare for future  generations. Our current system of protected limited providers stifles growth and stagnates technology.

Naquin: Need attention. 

Trosclair: The current project at the airport is a good example of modern technology coming to Terrebonne Parish. It will take more innovative thinking like this to entice more of these types of industry to Terrebonne.