He's no stranger to Lake Charles City Hall. Dana Carl Jackson has represented District F on the Lake Charles City Council for the past 12 years. And like all of his opponents, he knows that guiding the city in this time of growth is crucial - that's why he said experience is important.
"I don't have to be trained to walk in the first day. I will walk in the first day and I'll start it right then. I know where we're at. I know exactly how to keep going forward. Lakefront development will be a priority; if I have to go get people to come back to do it."
Jackson was a big proponent of one of those lakefront proposals that never got off the ground. Remember Mardi Gras Boardwalk? It featured lofty plans of a Kemah-like atmosphere on the lakefront.
"I said, 'Mayor, you're good friends with the mayor of New Orleans. So call him and ask him about these people.' And he called Mitch Landrieu - and he said 'if they say they're gonna build it, they're gonna build it.'" But it never happened," Jackson said.
Jackson has no regrets about his association with Mardi Gras Boardwalk.
"No, because like I said, that was the only proposal we had. Nobody else came knocking down our door for that lakefront while they were trying to get money,he said.
Jackson is now putting his hopes in a plan that's going before city council on March 7 by the Noble Group, spearheaded by orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Noble.
Jackson said, "What we want to do is sell them the Pinnacle property."
Whichever path is finally taken, Lake Charles' next mayor will definitely have his hands full - and Jackson said he's ready for it.
"I want Lake Charles to stay Lake Charles, but I do want it to be bigger, better, and more exciting," he said.
Tune in Wednesday at 10 p.m. on 7 News Nightcast, when KPLC will sit down with former assistant city administrator Eligha Guillory.
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.
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