The following questions were emailed to the Youngsville City Council Division A candidates for the election on October 14, 2023.
The candidates are Shannon Bares and Ann Istre. Both were emailed this questionnaire on August 10, 2023. Candidates were advised their responses were needed no later than Friday, August 25, 2023. As of August 25, 2023, responses were not received by Istre. Bares’ answers are below.
- What are your reason(s) for running as a candidate for City Council Division A in Youngsville?
Bares: I am immensely proud to have been born and raised in Youngsville. I have spent a good part of my life volunteering for local organizations, and I want to continue serving my community, keeping it a wonderful place to live and raise our kids. This is my forever home, and I want it to be my children’s forever home too.
- What is the most urgent issue in Youngsville?
Bares: The most urgent issue is to rebuild cohesiveness between the city council and the police department. The dissention between our City Council the and the upheaval in our Police Department needs to be addressed to restore the confidence of our community.
- What is your plan to address that issue?
Bares: Transparency is essential in dealing with this situation. Our council, police department and citizens need to be abreast of policies and procedures and laws pertaining to what can and cannot happen regarding the police department.
- What is your plan to address that issue?
- What are your top priorities for Youngsville if elected?
Bares: As a native of Youngsville, I am proud of the growth Youngsville has experienced due to its popularity and the fact that our city is a beautiful place to live. This growth needs to be carefully cultivated. The Youngsville City Council and the Mayor are doing a wonderful job making sure building and drainage requirements meet and even exceed the standards required. I want this to continue to be the place where new people and families want to live. We need to be responsible and attract new businesses to produce the tax revenues we need to maintain our city. We also need to remember and preserve the history of our city, listening to those that have lived here through this growth and have helped build that history. I want all citizens to have a voice and be heard by their elected officials.
- What qualities and skills make you the ideal choice for Youngsville City Council Member Division A?
Bares: I feel my leadership experience and my ability to bring people together to work toward solutions make me an ideal choice for Youngsville City Council. I thoroughly enjoyed my interim appointment to the Youngsville City Council in 2022 and feel my past work with most of the current council members gives me an advantage to work with our current council.
- What experience do you have with large budgets?
Bares: I was an administrative assistant to the Vice President of a major oil service company for 15 years and have dealt with multimillion dollar budgets for that company. I am currently the co-owner and manager of an independent pharmacy in Youngsville affording me unique healthcare experience and I also manage accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and HR policies, profit and loss statements and balance sheets. We work at being fiscally responsible, to find the best medications at the most affordable prices and giving the best service and quality medications to our customers.
- How are you funding your campaign?
Bares: Friends, Family and Citizens of Youngsville have contributed to my campaign. I want to thank everyone for their encouragement and support and let them know I will work for the citizens of our community, giving them a voice in their government.
- What endorsements have you received?
Bares: While I have not been actively seeking any official endorsements, many people have offered their support and encouragement. My hope is to be elected due to the votes of the people, not endorsements.
- What civic organizations or non-profits have you been an active member of within the last four years?
Bares: I have been a lector and a eucharistic/homebound minister for St. Anne’s Catholic Church for several years, the President of the Krewe des Amis, a local civic and Mardi gras krewe, for 12 years, Co-founder and Past President of the Youngsville Chamber of Commerce since inception in 2005, a graduate of Leadership Youngsville Class I in 2019, a Charter Board Member for the Youngsville Historical Preservation Society, and the Secretary/Treasurer for the Youngsville Lions Club since 2009. I am the current Eye Glass coordinator for the Youngsville Lions Club and have served as a board member at large for the Louisiana Lions Camp in Anacoco, La.
- What do you see is needed to attract more businesses to Youngsville, which would provide more job opportunities for Youngsville’s residents?
Bares: I feel continued road improvements and traffic flow will entice new businesses to locate to Youngsville. The mayor and city council have done a wonderful job pursuing grants and other means to get major roadways widened and overlayed, improving traffic flow through roundabouts, with much of the funds coming from the state and the federal government. I also think the cooperative relationship between the city and the Youngsville Chamber of Commerce will help to attract more businesses to Youngsville. The city and the chamber have a mutual goal to attract diverse businesses to our city, letting our citizens shop here instead of outlying cities, spending our dollars locally to help our community.
- If you received a $1 million grant to use for Youngsville any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
Bares: Wow, there is so much that could be done with such a large amount of money. The Youngsville Lions Club is in the process of donating and raising funds to build an “Inclusive Playground” at the Youngsville Sports Complex expansion. I would use some of that money to complete the project so our special needs children can have fun and play with their friends and siblings, instead of sitting on the sidelines watching. With the remaining funds, I would like to have a grant put in place for “Downtown Youngsville”, i.e. Lafayette Street, Church Street, Jacques Street, Iberia Street, etc., for businesses and residents to refurbish and renovate, making downtown Youngsville a place you can walk and/or bike, to visit and shop. I would like to see something slower paced and relaxing, bringing back memories of close family and friends visiting and spending time together as we have in the past, before our world became so fast-paced.