Margie Vicknair-Pray: Platform for St Tammany Parish President[pdf]

Overview:  It is time for St Tammany’s government to represent the overall health, wellness and prosperity of our citizens. Self-interest should never be the guiding factor in the leadership and development of any government. Individuals have rights that must be protected; the basic rights needed for survival are food and shelter, and to provide an enduring place for future generations. As your Parish President, I vow to uphold our rights to Clean Air, Clean Water, and Clean Government.

My concerns and how my government will be different:

DEVELOPMENT:  Intelligent, Pro-Community & Improved Quality of Life

SMALL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:  Encourage Local and Small Businesses

WATER, SEWAGE & DRAINAGE:  Priority - Our Basic Infrastructure Needs Help!

PARISH DEPARTMENTS:  Restructuring and Reevaluating Services

PARISH EMPLOYEES:  Contented Workers are Good Workers

 Clean Government!

COMMUNITY RESPONSE:  Public Interaction Encouraged; Outreach to the Public

OTHER AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT:  What Does a Healthy Community Need?

And here's the details:

DEVELOPMENT:  Intelligent, Pro-Community & Improved Quality of Life

Developers will present proposals to the reorganized Planning/Environmental/Zoning Department (PEZD). If plans are accepted after having met the requirements for infrastructure development suitable to the area, the developer will be required to notify all abutting property owners by certified mail of the plans, and must organize a public input meeting that is convenient to the property in question. An explanation of the development, including a hydrological study, approved by PEZD, of how the proposed expansion will affect the drainage basin of existing developments, must be presented at the meeting.

All property owners abutting, and in the case of large developments, those who could be affected by issues such as increased traffic flow, drainage and other infrastructure, must be notified.

SMALL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:  Encourage Local and Small Businesses

This is not an industrialized parish; those who want that lifestyle should move elsewhere. No industry or person has the right to supplant our Parish Home Rule Charter, or our planning and zoning policies with their own, so that they personally profit from the destruction of the rights of others.  I will uphold and continue the fight for our rights to control development in St Tammany. Other states’ courts have already recognized the legality of a county’s right to control development in their political body based on similar zoning and constitutional rights. Our parish laws supersede any rights given to an industry by an office of the State.  By law, we are entitled to win the legal battle to remain in control of our parish’s development.

Small, existing businesses should be encouraged to grow and be given assistance to do so through new Economic Development plans. New clean, high-tech businesses should also be encouraged to move here, and will be interested in doing so if we have a Parish that is conducive not only to growth, but one that has a quality of life that reassures employees that their move here will allow them to enjoy the many benefits of St Tammany.

WATER, SEWAGE & DRAINAGE:  Priority - Our Basic Infrastructure Needs Help!

Baseline water testing of public wells and continued monitoring for pollutants and sources of pollution are necessary. We must stop damage to our sole-source aquifer. The Southern Hills Aquifer was rated as one of the top two aquifers in the country for water purity just a few years ago.  We must maintain that quality and go after polluters who would steal this greatest of resources from us.

Sewage and polluted runoff have long affected our rivers, bayous and Lake Pontchartrain. I will initiate point of origin studies via the reorganized PEZD to discover sources of pollutant and bacterial contamination. No person or industry should infringe on the health of the community.  Polluters will be warned, then fined, and if the situation remains unresolved, prosecuted.

The PEZD’s Environmental arm will work, as outlined above, with new development to eliminate new sources of drainage issues, such as developments in floodplains and wetlands that cause flooding in established neighborhoods. They will also study existing developments and topographies to look for ways to improve drainage in areas that are now flooding. Drainage will be studied on a parish-wide basis, not piecemeal, so that the hydrology of the parish can be considered as a whole, and so that an “improvement” in one area does not adversely affect surrounding areas.

PARISH DEPARTMENTS:  Restructuring and Reevaluating Services

My first concern will be to gain an overview of how each department is administered, and define a reference point of services currently provided by each existing department. Once this is established, I will work with the appropriate departments to rescind or expand services.

One area that I will focus on immediately is the current Planning & Zoning Department. I will seek to hire qualified employees with backgrounds in hydrology, geology, urban planning and environmental engineering to staff this department, as I intend to rework this office so as to provide concurrent operations to better serve the citizens of St Tammany. I see Planning and Zoning joined with Environmental and Drainage so that an all-inclusive department can look at the current status of the Parish, as well as develop long-term land use plans that complement the 2025 Land Use Plan, keeping us on track for a wonderful quality of life, and less flooding, well into the future.

 PARISH EMPLOYEES:  Contented Workers are Good Workers

I will consider Civil Service as a possibility for improving our Parish’s employee policy.  I will look into other alternatives, as well, to provide our employees with reasonable benefits and job security. Good employees are the heart of any successful operation - abused employees are not good employees.


I will continue cooperation with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor and the state Inspector General’s office to improve transparency and allow the citizenry to gain a new understanding of how and where the Parish spends our taxes and other income. This auditing does not seem to include the President’s office; I will investigate the need to have my administration, as well as future administrations, be a part of this watchdog program.  St Tammany is the wealthiest Parish in the state of Louisiana; a watchdog is vital considering the large volume of money and contracts dealt with.  I will expect such oversight and use an outside CPA firm to conduct enhanced audits.

I will work to improve relations with the District Attorney’s office, and consider that office as an ally in the fight against corruption in government.

COMMUNITY RESPONSE:  Public Interaction Encouraged; Outreach to the Public

I will be responsive and available to the citizens; the President’s Office will include a Public Outreach arm, to make the Office accessible to the citizenry. I will encourage interaction between citizens and the office of Parish President. I intend to have a “Kitchen Cabinet” of advisors, many being representatives of groups that work to make the Parish a better place to live; this will include citizens’ action groups, non-profits, religious groups and other non-governmental agencies.

The Parish’s website will be reworked to be more responsive to needs of the citizenry. Forms, transactions and records that are allowed to be published by law will be more readily available via the website. Meeting Agendas for the Parish Council and PEZD meetings will be easier to find on the website and contain more detail on the topics listed, not just brief, confusing summaries. A Community Board webpage, for those who want to pose questions to be answered publicly on the website, will be added.

OTHER AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT:  What Does a Healthy Community Need?

At a minimum, there should be donation containers for recyclables located strategically around the parish. I will work with waste companies in the Parish to cultivate a more thorough recycling program, and, as is done in many other parts of the country, develop strategically located collection centers for all types of recyclables and waste, including paints, household hazardous materials, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, papers, and other materials as markets allow.

With a population of almost 250,000, it is time to move from high school theaters to a civic auditorium where high school graduations, music events, theater, and other productions can be mounted. Residents should not have to travel to New Orleans for every large cultural event.  This will allow the development of income through hosting concert tours, theater productions, etc.

No new taxes until current spending is accounted for and more funding is actually necessary.


"The definition of insanity is to keep electing the same people to office and expecting a better government!"

Margie Vicknair-Pray
St Tammany Parish President - Ballot #77
VOTE October 24th!

Margie Vicknair-Pray:
Parish Presidential Campaign Platform

October 24th

7am til 8pm

"Clean air. Clean water. Clean government."

Margie Vicknair-Pray for St. Tammany Parish President
Ballot #77

  • Family comes first. 
  • Integrity matters.
  • Justice should prevail. 
  • Service above self. 
  • Honesty is a given. 
  • Humility is a gift. 
  • Bipartisanship is a must.