Pineville mayor candidates answer public questions, speak on priorities during forum

Pineville's mayoral candidates for 2022 met at Pineville High School to address their plans to residents.
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 6:03 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2022 at 11:52 PM CST
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - The four candidates running for the Pineville mayor seat addressed a large crowd gathered at Pineville High School on Feb. 15, 2022, to answer questions from the public and to talk about the issues they want to see improvements on in the city.

The four mayoral candidates are Mitzie Bayone-Williams, Rich Dupree, Charles Moore and James Rachal.

Each candidate was asked the same set of questions to address the potential of economic growth in the city, the priorities as it relates to infrastructure projects and reducing crime throughout Pineville.

The four mayoral candidates were asked to tell the audience what are the two most important projects that can spur growth in Pineville.

Bayone-Williams said she would focus on the revitalization of the historic district and for more opportunities for cultural expansion throughout the city. Dupree added that, if elected, he would look more at a re-use plan for the Central State Hospital and the commercial corridor of Highway 165.

“We’re excited about the possibilities and what we see on paper with the re-use of the Central State Hospital property once it moves to its new facility later this year,” said Dupree. “With them moving, you have all those acres there for development and the Y-Not Stop has been the best test case.”

Moore’s main point of emphasis was infrastructure as he talked about several issues around the city that needs improvements including the aging roads.

“All of our water and sewer lines undermine our roads as they are located underneath our streets,” said Moore. “As they break, or they age, we have to go in with the utility crews and repair those lines, so we cut our roads and it deteriorates our road services. We wind up with gravel roads in some areas.”

Rachal also hit on infrastructure but also said that Lake Buhlow needs to be better utilized by adding more camping and family activities.

“There is a perfect recreational hub opportunity there,” said Rachal. “I just want to see that area grow and prosper and bring people to our community to have a quality of life events there.”

KALB did ask each candidate for an interview after the forum, but Bayone-Williams was unavailable.

Early voting for the Pineville mayoral election will be from March 12-19. Election Day is set for March 26.

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