Candidates for City Council Precinct 4 share stances

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 27, 2021

Two candidates are vying for the seat of Precinct 4 City Councilor in Picayune, Larry Breland and Vernon Robinson. Both candidates said they want to work for the city as a whole, not just their precinct.

Larry Breland

Breland said he chose to run for re-election because he started something he would like to see finished. He intends to address concerns with drainage, and wants to see the city be able to offer more jobs, provide more park funding and possibly build a rec center.

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He considers himself to be financially frugal, as such he feels the city’s Council should spend tax dollars like the money comes from their own pockets.

Breland wants to repair or build more sidewalks, and see the city seek out more grant funding.

Some challenges he sees in his precinct and the city as a whole include drainage, lack of jobs, poor funding of the parks and sidewalks. He also wants to ensure emergency responders have the tools they need to make their job safer.

Breland said that economic development is necessary to ensure there are enough jobs and to decrease crime. He feels the best approach to do that is to promote the fact that Picayune is in a prime location with access to rail and an interstate.

Breland lists honesty, and a drive to get the facts as his best qualifications for office.

The best use of the city’s tax dollars to Breland is for the Council to look at what is needed first and then fund the things the city wants.

He said he is against the potential of a tax increase, and would only consider annexation if there was a need and the research showed it was best for the city.

Vernon Robinson

Robinson said he decided to run for office because he saw a number of needs not being met, such as drainage and park maintenance. He has noticed that some parks are lacking amenities, such as Snyder Park, which only has a couple of baseball fields, but no playground equipment or basketball court.

Some challenges he sees in his precinct include flooding in the neighborhoods off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, specifically down Brookdale. He feels that problem can be addressed with more drainage pipes installed in key areas, which would negate the need for those residents to carry flood insurance.

If elected, he said he would like to try to address the instances of crime and gun fire.

To increase economic development, Robinson feels the city could utilize land to attract companies and create jobs. He would also like to see the city sell itself as a place that is willing to grow and change for the better.

He would also like to see educational opportunities in the city increased, such as by utilizing a community center to offer job training. He suggested using the recently acquired Valspar building as a location for that training. Robinson also feels a place for people coming out of prison to live would help get those residents on the right track.

His qualifications include being a pastor at a local church since 1998, which enables him to bring people together. Robinson said he is also easy to talk to and non-confrontational.

Robinson would like to see the city use tax dollars to ensure all city employees have the equipment they need, and for all city employees to get a raise.

He is opposed to a tax increase because so many people are currently living under the poverty level. However, if the local economy could be increased, then he would consider a tax increase.

As for annexation, Robinson wants to see the city grow, possibly by adding more of Nicholson and Carriere to the city limits.

“I am for growth and I want to see Picayune grow,” Robinson said.