Many residents may know Lake Charles mayoral candidate Nic Hunter from his stint on the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. But he is also a longtime restaurateur.
What's on the menu these days? A heaping helping of ideas that Nic Hunter said would spur growth in the city. You might recognize him as owner of Harlequin Steak & Seafood in Lake Charles.
"I've always loved working my entire life. My grandmother, Mrs. Hunter, is not with us any more. But she's my biggest influence - always has been, and probably always will be," he said.
Hunter was groomed at an early age by his grandmother for the restaurant business. But for the last six and a half years, he has served on the police jury, and now, he wants to do more. No surprise - lakefront development is a big part of his platform.
"Under my administration, I'm confident, we will turn dirt on the lakefront. It needs to be food-and-beverage-centric. It needs to be family friendly. But it needs to be something that gets people off I-10 and that's the issue," he said.
But that's easier said than done. The current administration has tried for over a decade to get someone to buy this prime real estate, but still no takers.
"My plan is a little bit different than the current plan. The city wants to sell the property. I actually don't want to sell it. Why not offer it to local people who can get excited about investing in the lakefront, he said.
And while Hunter believes lakefront development is key, he said his biggest concerns center on infrastructure.
"And for me, it's the big three - drainage, roads, and sewage - probably in that order, rather than five or 10 years down the road," Hunter said.
A husband, and soon to be a new father, Hunter knows being mayor would be a demanding job, but he said he's ready for the challenge.
In case you're wondering how much the mayor gets paid, the current salary is $125 thousand a year, but as of July 1, because of pay raises that were approved last year, the new mayor will be getting $136,100 a year.
Tune in Wednesday at 10 p.m. on 7 News Nightcast, when KPLC will sit down with Former District Court Judge Wilford Carter.
All eight mayoral candidates have agreed to participate in a forum, hosted by KPLC-TV, from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, and will be broadcast live on KPLC-TV, kplctv.com, the KPLC mobile app and the KPLC Facebook page. For more information, click HERE.
Got questions for the candidates? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may include them in our forum.
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