WWL>Topics>>2-6-14 3:10pm Angela with Billy Nungesser

2-6-14 3:10pm Angela with Billy Nungesser

Feb 6, 2014|

Angela goes one-on-one with Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well from the incredible good news about the culinary institute that's going to happen. In just a couple of years and that's such a good positive thing that we needed for a while and it's gonna happen and that beautiful art works building. To a whole hour we spent on the sex trafficking in our area and the couple who. Really need to be applauded who are fighting it learned a lot on that one well we are mentally shifting again. We have decided on this program that we would periodically have all of the parish presidents. And we are so grateful for their time and we are very grateful to have Billy non guests are here. He is of course wrapping up his second term and between hurricane -- the BP oil spill. A national economic downturn. I guess it's been quite a ride and added that this is the happy getting married to his long time -- share. And losing all kinds oh wait he looks like a movie star we have so much to talk about -- we really do have so much talk about and we have we have. Actually being on survival of plaque image -- talk about so I'm not minimizing the enormity of the things you're facing. But we always like to start with -- And your loving your life. Yes it's it's been great finally getting married after a delay in the the win three times two hurricanes in the oil spill. We got merit on the beach and LA and took a cruise ship back to the Panama Canal. In ended here in new longs and almost had to get off that ship the second date is we had a late hurricane. Last year that at a time we docked in Elvis had plans to fly home. Staal broke up the that was tough to tell our leading. All those years that I might have to get off the cruise ships so it worked out. If you did you have the right. And after all these years. -- -- now you do know and I just -- -- and I'm sure everybody who seizures if you look like and thank you want greatest thing I ever did from itself. Withstand that weight loss surgery -- slight change in the toughest decision. Is admitting you can't do it on your own I gained a hundred pounds. Five hurricanes and lost -- saltwater intrusion and citrus bug. One thing after another. Tony for seven I just seemed like it did and in them before I knew it I was hundred pounds -- You've saved your life absolutely okay. You -- delights -- -- -- continue to work 24 hours to -- Now on let's talk about some things that are very very important that you. Forcible where are we with the BP. Well we've still got a while out there but but you know most of it is not recoverable. It's a light Sheen it's oil on the bottom that. After -- fondest on kicks up into the march. -- they're still doing a lot of work countered. And and we're gonna see that for many years to come. And I just hope that week in the settled. All the claims and and and get the money we need to rebuild the coast we're gonna get enough money. We just got to do the right things and it. And get the most bang from book because it will be enough money. Two seriously protect coastal Louisiana. What do you think the bottom line damage to. To estuaries to the animals to. Things that you know I think I think we're going to be answered that question for many years plaque and parachuted 33%. Of the oil. For the whole Gulf Coast. In that one -- so the devastation to the oyster beds to sufficient to win the two men -- grow into. To the loss of of wetlands you know we're still CNET. But. I think. You know we still see in dolphins turn up dead and things like that so I think it's going to be many years deciding figure now. The long term effects. And that's why I I'm pray that we get through this process. And the the state in the coast gets the money they need to rebuild. And to raise some of these baby fish and things if we see a decline in other adult finished its way from the it's the -- weeks of the two of them the crab cakes and you know and the life cycle of the end of the trial if we see a decline in another three -- four years of the of the -- populations because those things were effected. And we need to have baby fish ready to put back in the water to bring those partly to back up -- This is sportsman's paradise and fish in his everything to coastal Louisiana. So where are what is the status of that. Opposite well we've got we've you know each parish has a claim is does the state. I'm hoping we can sit down settle a claim. I don't think anybody wins if we fight this out in court for many years we've got to fish hatcheries one imply commenced. One overly child's it's the governor move forward working with BP gets some of that early money. Those -- ought in the planning stages right now. We'd like to see a little bit more upfront money to build back some of those pelican talent. Because those pelican rounds but just destroyed. Those pelicans move further inland and manipulated nest -- -- they that the coyotes in credit predators have a way to get to them so. We wanna see some more money put up -- to rebuild some of those pelicans. OK Anthony. Your convinced that there will be enough money is enough money. It's billions. And and you know I think. Mom my greatest fear is that we don't. Do the right thing -- -- when you're talking about that kind of money people get real creative -- and it. Say for the coast but not on the coast. And in that money should be used for what it was intended to and now we saw that. With some of the money that -- traveled all over the state for promoting the coast back money went to every parish in the state and now. That's not the way you know we -- -- of Washington -- 80% of -- brought down to the coached. And we were successful. And for us to take money and not do the same thing is irresponsible so I'm hoping and that we speak large and loud enough to make sure that money gets spent in the right place. You have a game play if all of a sudden he got the -- tomorrow. Well we believe pompano the river is a way to go you know. After. An old time it took me out and showed me read to southwest pass he along strong had 2000 -- -- -- before Katrina. For house about Katrina. They -- rage that was on each foot -- Betsy. When I saw that I said that to we have to do so we went to work we partnered with the cool. And we built models of ridges behind islands a thousand foot range lower -- -- five feet certify. We went to Washington and we get -- to recognize that promised flood protection I have a letter from -- feed eight. So we can build berms islands and ridges on the levees. Will get credit from FEMA. Three Dallas and up the rivers and fifty dollar -- Will never raised the flood walls and levees kind of protect -- city or any of the coach if we don't build back those -- and unfortunately. In the past the environmental groups -- in March -- well after a thunderstorm washes away. An eight foot range was built before -- he would still there. As proof enough for me we got a bill -- -- bridges. To protect the marshlands the levees and lower sponsor before gays in the city gets to the coast. And that will happen absolutely we'll take the billions of dollars and that's our. Major line of defense absolutely there's major and you know when FEMA came in recently it's adhesion flood maps got to raise every house in jazz would be an eight feet. And they said we're only take into account party of protection I showed him a letter from -- few -- And he should wait to get Atlantis -- the new boss and he says no shocks. And so let me get back to the and they came back a month later and said we're gonna do this -- program Levy analysts -- mapping procedure. And you pick five Paris. And they now I'm gonna take into the arms -- ridges and all the coastal projects Gary graves in the master plans work -- They will be included in the flood -- that's good because two things. Wind -- a risk but it will be used in the flood elevations which -- lower insurance rates and make coastal Louisiana livable. Boy -- you're sounding very very hopeful we're gonna take a break stay with us we have a lot to talk to billing -- answer about. And certainly if you have any questions or thoughts for Billy please give us a call at 2601870. I'm Angela under the W well. While our guest today is billing on cancer who of course is that. President plaque -- parent shanties he's really looking at this must consume your life. -- it well and as it should your president of the parish that that could be gone if it's not protected. You know if you as an elected official. Do all you can and to make things better it's 24/7. You don't just do what you have to get reelected or would make you popular. And I mean from helped build wheelchair ramp to protect in the levees to bring in business he parish. And and you know I thought -- looking at people ought to run for office and looking at what they did for charitable organizations in the past. And it'll tell you about a lot about them if they're really wanna help people. And and I think that's says a lot about someone in their past and would did you do to help people before they run for office in and I'm still looking more more dad is a look to support people for public office. Let's go back to to give me your vision. Five years from now and ten years from now for -- and fair well I think. One thing I can tell people apply comes to match. -- flood protection is getting better every year now wars we've got over two billion dollars and eleven projects going on we're gonna bypass road. And within a month we will have. A lateral secretary -- his desk to deep inductees -- To the east and off. It's 71 miles from -- east in golf it's a 130 from Mississippi and Alabama. The east in golf will be an oil boom like we saw an early days it's either going to be -- Mississippi Alabama they will not run decent golf from pollution. So if we do those three things we will Korean economic. Jobs opportunities and twenty -- right now about 121000 people Mark -- on Venice. That'll be up to 36000. By 2017. Of those people can go out of Venice and pollution on. They'll live in Louisiana if they go to Mississippi Alabama they'll migrate over who will lose people so you know. Governor Blanco -- -- of an agenda supported that he's -- project. It will be the first war -- ever deep -- thought about local government. And out failure is not an option those three things happened that he's under construction. The bypass roads and construction. We deep -- back to school that you build -- they will calm and we'll see a real economic boom for the whole region. Post-Katrina. Your industry is still strong absolutely you know after Katrina ran for office -- and I got a one and -- -- do now. I want to all the businesses conical pills now Phillips 66. And asked to see -- evangelist. And I said why are you buying all the stuff on taxes as well that's what offices. And we worked very closely the plaque in the business association. And a lot of great people -- commands to go to all those companies and -- We have a company here they can do this brain insulation does the installation work now. Kindness and Tony used to do it. The air -- war. And -- the company's imply this past those refineries prides himself. On 1995%. Of the companies use the Louisiana company's. And it wasn't a fancy ribbon cut it was a lot of hard work by a lot of good people. But the imagine if we did that all over the state went to the big companies and say what are you buying out of state that you could hear. A week he create thousands of jobs. But it's not a fancy -- -- it's a lot of hard work. That needs to be done. As we've asked every parish president whose commitment. Talking about really local issues to yourself. Let's talk about crime what's happening there. Well plaque and it's parish. The sheriff's department and does a great. We have very little -- And they'll chase is booming with that new subdivisions. The schools are great it's a low tax base. I think we we just -- number three. -- best communities to live in Louisiana. And -- so those are not problems in a flood protection. We've got jobs. We've got openings in Paris right now we have known employment. And every year I've been Paris president we've had. Eight to ten to twelve million dollar surplus every year. And so we've got a -- what are you doing right -- Well you run it like a business you don't spend what you don't. And you maximize the opportunities for grant money. We've got over three billion dollars in federal programs projects -- done levees flood gates locks. And and you reach out to the business community. Apache oil and -- is is put up three million dollars to rebuilt one of the pelican island shall walls put up money. Phillips 66 built to communities the other companies in the Paris builds one -- followed these senators if you will and asked them. Are our partners -- Paris to private businesses have done a phenomenal job in subordinate of unity and improve the quality of life. We've got work on equipment all the community centers for elderly. Classes and and the victim question grandkids so -- woman's woman -- now we never had that for. So it's just an effort by a lot of good people in the Paris to work together as a team. I know that we have the very sad thing happened with the animal shelter an animal shelter is a big success story and I've said it many times and black woman -- issue. You completed a promising to built a beautiful shelter and it works hand in hand with a wonderful organization paused. And yet the misfortune of having someone who was stealing from them if I'm met those people on it. I met the people who were heartbroken that this happened. You know and and it's it's really especially such a great organization. Has saved so many parents lives and and the people that work in that senator. So passionate about it and two. You know whether it was drugs or whatever led these people to this it's just a horrible situation. To an organization needed him money so bad -- and every every dollar that was stolen the stolen from. Dogs and cats absolutely -- taken right out of saving those laws and treat those animals but their back in full swing they're back. Absolutely the impact of so many people stepped up in the community. To pitch inning give money to get him back where we need to be as in the parish government the council's been wonderful. In supporting. Of that organization and -- you know what I ran for office and act on every door twice and -- bash. And you don't have one dog cat compartment. You've got 345. Of each. And and we've got a lot of pats pats for just 723000. People. We're gonna take another break we're gonna come back and we're going to continue our top with parish president Billy non dancer but let's go to the newsroom. And find out what's happening. We're talking with billing on cancer president of plaque commenced pair sort of catching up on what's happening over there as there's actually a lot happening over there. And you told us about. Not just visions that things that are actually happening right now. The building of various things to protect -- and -- obviously very vulnerable but you were saying. Better than you've been long term. Absolutely. And you know give them the real challenge. Is getting people invest in the parish. And -- now only sound -- good place but did the flood protection is getting better every year not worse so. You know we might have five years we need to block. To keep the storm out but it's gonna get better every year. And with the widen and deepen and widen the Panama Canal we've got a heart miles of river and we've got companies up and down the river look in the locate there. And that's going to be accord or as well not only the oil industry but for the ship an industry that's gonna benefit -- -- and walls in the whole region. Let me go back to see him. That the issue of the insurance because that that is huge. And it's now sort of in a holding pattern they're trying to get delayed. Has to pass the senate for that but if it. Ultimately. Comes to pass. And they can delay delay it and they don't rework it and all of a sudden people are faced with enormous insurance bills. What -- second. Do well if failure is not an option and what you know I believe it will get delayed. And the key is for Fuller and and -- only has done a phenomenal job the business groups realtors bankers. We've got -- stay focused. When he gets delayed. And begin immediately to work on fix and long term we can't wait to that two of four years comes up. And hoping gets -- we've got to keep pressure on now. Because it's still gonna paralyzed areas. Even know you get it delayed people on and in vast. And a great deal of -- the uncertainty of not knowing what it's gonna cost operated business or build a home in that area. So. We need to have a fix in place. When we get it too -- and start that process quickly and know that you were among those who brought Maxine Waters down. And and she even said you know we don't think this hot we didn't realize I think that was sort of overall thought absolutely you know it's it's mind boggling and I went to spoke at this. University California. About the oil -- and always add on there about the the flood elevations. When asked -- -- they had no idea. When I spoke on Long Island to the sandy people out -- at a local officials and people have gotten their basements and rebuild them ninety -- team is gonna come here. When do elevations what are you talking about they know now and so. You know it took a lot of local -- we've got some great local leaders on the -- estate. The mayor -- and now the feet Charlotte Randolph the show -- You know they went out to all these other areas of the lamp program but we also went in Nikko and -- a -- coalition put together. And and and getting that word out to get other people onboard. Was so important and they saw the passion of the local leaders in that was important in I. I look at you and I I just remember. Thirty years ago 25 years ago. Did it take -- Katrina does it taken 96 -- take this -- for all of us to finally say. We have got to get a master plan here this is our state has slowly and you hear these little dropping -- -- -- the next New Orleans -- Baton Rouge. Well wait a minute. Absolutely you know I tell people all the time if we don't. Spent his BP money right in and Garret graves who just resigned did a fabulous job in putting and bring in the communities together come up with a master plan. But if we don't act now spend this money properly. Will be have in the grand -- official wrote in Baton Rouge in our lifestyle. And and and it's only 45 of a storms away from that happen and if we don't get serious about getting. The coastline bill back in in in large volume. And it is just such a powerful statement that the grand -- fishing -- will be in Baton Rouge. Visually try to think about that and you know all of so yeah that's a big problem it's so complex so overwhelming. That on top and I'm the average Joseph can't grasp it. You know after the BP spill and that was a lot of how we can get through this but we did and -- as bad as it was. The money will Guinea cute as a shock me on we need to give the coast back where it needs to be and that's why -- one we're gonna get the money. God help us if we don't do the right thing with it. And and in 2017. As these offshore revenues. Start to come to keep up those projects that we build and do more. But this blast that we should get from BP. Will be what we need. And in that regard it was a blast -- that we're gonna get this money because we're gonna finally be able to do what we need to do. And now we need to do it quickly and it was Smart and get the most bank for a book we build these projects. Speaking of offshore revenues. Do you believe we should be getting more of a percent of those offshore revenue and I absolutely do you know I think that you know -- -- -- -- states -- gated off the -- they absolutely do so. You know the this is the first shot and hopefully will will be able. Over time make the rest of the country realize -- important that'll ensure he has to energy independence in this country. And will be able those percentages. And can continue to repair replace. Some of them -- -- you know if they don't value what is done here shame on them because. There's so many areas that won't do anything worth doing at all. Absolutely you know we this coastal coalition that we formed the -- National association of counties we go to Washington a few weeks to meet. Uh oh with the coalition. That was each step we cat that passed in Dallas at the convention. Because now from Florida taxes. We have a coalition. That can not -- all of the counties -- crossed the country as one voice to change policy. And to get things funded data -- courage and an important to the coast and so that was a big step in getting a color recognize a coastal coalition. Stay with -- we're not done with billing and yes I'm Angela on WWL. One thing billing on cancer. President apply -- parish for spending a whole hour with this. You have announced that you wanna be lieutenant governor. For -- win this year. Thing anti the end of this year I'll be out office focus of one more year. Yes and you want to run you have announced I'm gonna run for lieutenant -- yes what are the issues you're seeing statewide. Well to -- -- You know that about my -- state he. Main job of lieutenant goes -- and that is so important it's it's it's a huge business. In this state. But a lieutenant governor with the staff and in that position. Can do so much more. And like I said if you will do all you can help people whether -- create jobs where it's improving health. Of the state. Whenever it is I'm planning -- -- and I plan to. Whoever is governor. If I'm gonna do a good job for used lieutenant governor. I've got to work with to go whoever it is and and -- and I will announce to do that. I don't care what they say every governor -- -- and a lieutenant governor is gonna run against the last lieutenant governor of the work closely with the governor with -- -- -- And had breakfast -- A loving he said Billy you're doing the right thing he's every time I stepped up to the Mike and gave the governor credit. Any let me do everything I could to help the state and he was an ambassador for economic development. And so we need that partnership were not powerful enough to fight amongst ourselves. So I hope I can bring that acted to Baton Rouge and work with whoever is governor. -- we've got to find a way. Two bring all the the entities and the lieutenant governor. And it's -- long term funding for repairs and maintenance. Bush robbing Peter to pay Paul and it's nobody's fault. It's just if we don't bring all the legislators have problems with a -- museum in Shreveport. On the force out at four pipe it's fallen apart. We've got to bring everybody together. And passed legislation. To get funding for repairs and maintenance we can't keep stealing from the Sugar Bowl in this in that. To patch and -- things and that's gonna take. An opportunity to work closely with governor -- people and the legislators have these problems all of the state. As a team effort two to fill those holes that. That tourism is well on its way that people here and walls to a great job at a we've just got to bring in all together and work as a team in Baton Rouge and and them bring that a team effort back and that's what I'm looking for boasted. You know we've done a number of shows one of the most recently within the the new head of lobby. And that they're saying you know manufacturing is coming in -- gonna. And it needs 60000 workers and we don't have that workforce. Which is astounding because I think most of us think there -- people out there dying for jobs. But they're saying a workforce it's tailored to what's coming in. And we've talked to the various universities about that too when there are many wonderful efforts going that way but. I think that's a very very important issue in the state. Absolutely. You know one thing we've done in plaque commands and it's on the small scale. But the copies here -- go talk in the high schools. And tell them what they're looking for the jobs that require college. And the ones who don't and how they get qualified to -- to apply for those jobs so a kid in in his tenth grade can say you know what I can make. 50000 a year 7000 a year if I go through these programs and vote -- And qualified to work it won the refineries. All are -- wanna be a technical I've got to go to college but he gives them some vision. Of what those options all are hearing from industry and I think we need to bring more industry into schools. -- real world absolutely and let them make the choice. These kids are Smart but let -- see what's out there let him hear from the people to be doing harm and and and make some good choices because not everybody's cut out for college. And down and it's -- real well and Paris and so many in the refineries there in the plants have done such great job it hard local people. We needed expand that kind of talking and open up the high schools to talk to the businesses that are beyond. Absolutely and it's also working with the schools to make sure that these kids really have the qualifications and funding those programs that we need to fund. I know that the governor has now and we were recently -- on doctor Foster is the head of UN on a delight. And he announced of course. -- the governor has announced which is finally there's going to be some funds that all the universities will essentially vying for the gonna have to raise 20%. And then they'll get a certain amount but we have for years now looked at. Just. The color of rape I don't mean to be ugly but it's with taken so much from higher. Over and over. You know outlook and state budget and I look at it as a business this -- I did compartments Paris you know. Where you can hop hire private contract is doing cheaper better. We need to look at doing that we need to consolidate some efforts you -- you know the the first responders the education. The teachers. That's the last place who should have looked at cut and theirs is so much waste in government and now we've made some recommending I mean we've done it placards -- And we just we need to embarrassment to spend the money right way. And there's a lot of things -- road maintenance repairs in the state that we could -- do things differently. And and we need to do that. And we need to see the legislators working together as a team. Across party lines are crossed north south east and west of the state. And solve these problems as a team and and that's who we need to give back in Baton Rouge and hopefully will never be as bad as what's happening in Washington absolutely look and I think you saw that you know I was disappointed in the turnout. In it in the in the race here for -- Thirty something percent I I agree you know and that's got to be people of so disgusted with what's going on Washington. -- they just turn off into turn off completely and we got it was that a change. Those decisions are kept saying it good that a lot of the candidates on various races this is important. Because this is the next four years absolutely you know did that in in in my race last time. There was no governor's race. The coastal -- turned out when he something percent. That's and and and that was you know this is our right to free country to everybody should vote. Don't have to vote for me. But everybody should she open vote and voice their opinion my big thing if you can't complain if you have some of the -- price sitting there and whining about it it's nothing. I can't thank you enough in an answer for coming on and we will stay in touch with you as I hope you do too. But we appreciate your time thank you -- you -- okay. Stay with -- we'll be right back. Thanks much for listening to his financial and we'll see you tomorrow.