BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — Business owner and LSU School of Landscape Architecture graduate Gordon Mese told FOX44 he has big ideas for the future of East Baton Rouge City-Parish.
"We are no longer a cow town," said Mese. "We are a big city. We have got to start solving our problems like a big city does."
He says Baton Rouge needs a new leader with city planning experience to help look at protecting infrastructure. His plan begins with reforming the city-parish's unified development code.
"It's basically the contract between the government and the developer; what they are going to do for us and what we are going to do for them," said Mese.
He says the city-parish doesn't enforce the current code, and it's costing the area future business.
"Infrastructure, crime, education, double taxation, your sewer fee, your garbage fee, the dedicated tax for cats, all three of those are completely owned by the unified development code," said Mese.
Mese says East Baton Rouge has lots of potential being on the river, having three universities, and strong culture , but the city-parish can't afford to maintain infrastructure.
"Why are we broke," said Mese. "Why can't we have the amenities with all of that going for it can. "
He says if Baton Rouge can fix up the streets and curb crime, new businesses will want to come here.
"Something that has been true from caveman times till now is that you got to have a place that you call home," said Mese. "The business will follow if we build a place that people want to live in."
As for the rising crime rate - he told FOX44 it has to be a priority for whoever is elected.
"I've been having a crime emergency for a long time," said Mese. "I'm glad the public servants have finally figured that out."
Mese would add more opportunities for police to interact with the community and add a fleet of mobile command posts.
"If we have a hot spot lets use them," said Mese. "Lets park them in a hot spot at night, and lets get four or five of them and as the hot spots move so does the little head quarters."
The Mese campaign utilizes social media to get their message across. Mese says he reaches between 2 and 6 thousand people a week through social media. He says he got the idea after hearing about the Arab Spring.
Mese said, "I said if it (social media) can take down four world leaders, it should actually be able to produce a mayor."
The Mese for Mayor campaign is self funded. He's spent around $2 thousand for the election. Mese said, unlike his opponents, he doesn't need tons of cash win the election.
"There is only one way to win you have to cross party lines and you have to cross racial lines," said Mese.
He told FOX44 he's the man who can do both.
"If you don't want to pay excessive taxes vote for me," said Mese. "You don't want to have the crime problem we have vote for me. If you want to fix our infrastructure problems vote for me."