POSTED: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 11:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 11:33am
PORT ALLEN, LA (NBC33) — There are only three days left for Port Allen voters to decide who should be the city's new mayor.
Only 244 votes separated incumbent Mayor Roger Bergeron and challenger Deedy Slaughter. Now the candidates are bracing for what could be an ugly run off election.
Bergeron says he's the man for the job because he has more leadership experience.
“I've had a formula if you want to call it of being accessible responsive and responsible,” Bergeron said. “I’ve had an open door policy since I took office people can come in and bring their problems.”
Bergeron said the city’s biggest problem is making sure to keep a balanced budget and be fiscally astute. Another problem is blight.
"It’s city wide in many cases, but particularly in the black community. We have some properties that have been abandon and not kept up to their neighborhood standards. Not just in the black community though it’s in all parts." Bergeron explained.
Opponent Deedy Slaughter said she chose to run for mayor because the city needs help building up a better business community.
"Infrastructure doing things to attract more businesses economic development bring more resources into the city bring more jobs in," said Slaughter.
Slaughter said if elected she would consult with other mayors to help learn ways to enhance the Port Allen community.
“Jobs are needed here. You have people who have been here all their lives and just don't have that,“ Slaughter explained.
Slaughter said Bergeron didn't do a good job in office and he had unfair hiring practices.
"The city is looking for someone with integrity someone that's fair somebody that's going to be honest and somebody who's going to across the board look for the benefit of the entire community," Slaughter retorted.
“Anybody who knows me well knows that is a false allegation. Anybody who knows me well,” Bergeron replied. “I have a proven history, a proven ability, i don't think my opponent can put up such a resume.”
The community is split.
"I like her moral values. I just believe that she'll do a better job," Lisa West, Port Allen business owner, said.
West supports slaughter's campaign. she says the city could use a mayor that's compassionate.
"Sometime in some positions women just do better. If a woman is needed and I think a woman is needed now," West believes.
Paul J. LeBlanc Sr., says Bergeron should get to stay in office because he's put the city in a good place.
"He offers the people the kind of service that we deserve, and we appreciate it," LeBlanc said. “There is nothing but good about Roger. He's a wonderful man.”
Residents say no matter what happens on Saturday the city will see some change.