Hello Mr. Davis,

Let me introduce myself. My name is Greta Perry and my family chose to settle in Mandeville after my husband’s retirement from the military. We don’t have any family here, but took it as an opportunity. We are thrilled with our new home and are quickly growing roots. I have been a blogger for over 3 years now and when we moved here, January of 2007, I began Kiss My gumbo. I have taken it upon myself to sell St. Tammany and highlight local businesses on my own. I freelance blog for NOLA.com and Inside Northside magazine as well. I have a good handle on the pulse of St. Tammany and am always seeking ways to improve it. The following are ideas that are worthy of discussion (in my humble opinion).

1. an on-line St. Tammany directory of all registered businesses. If I need a florist in St. Tammany – the list is right there with all my choices. This list would be generated by the Parish and would not cost small businesses an additional fee. I have a small business and right now can’t afford to advertise or join the Chamber and neither can lots of small businesses
2. a better outreach for tourism. We do not do a very good job of promoting or highlighting our events by ourselves. We could drastically improve this. We need to let the people on the other side of the bridge know what we have to offer.
3. blogging council meetings. This will make the St. Tammany residents feel more “included.” I would be willing to possibly consider this position. Even if it is not me, this is how we reach our younger residents and keep them here.
4. a ferry from New Orleans to St Tammany. I understand this was done before the storm and others should enjoy our fine dining.
5. a greater vandalism and crime awareness program. Since I was not here pre-Katrina, every time I mention vandalism or graffiti, the residents say that the demographics have changed and we need to accept that. I don’t agree, we need to step up and make example of vandals in the community to prevent more from happening. We need to be pro-active!
6. zoning. What can I say – it seems like it is a free for all and many of the school zones don’t make sense right now
7. traffic. I don’t have to tell you how bad it is.
8. a housing moratorium – other places in the country do this. If there are X amount of houses for sale in the community, put a ban on building new developments. Not that I am for Government intrusion on the free market, but this does benefit everyone in the long run. We don’t seem to use the common sense approach of supply and demand.
9. Apartments – I wish I knew that an apartment building was going in across the street from Lakewood Heights subdivision when we purchased our new home. I can only hope that the city will make sure it enhances the community and is not a detriment to it.
10. Low wage jobs – It would benefit St. Tammany to offer a small business transportation service for the outlying communities to bring in workers to fill our void.

In blogger style fashion, I will post this letter on my blog and will await your response with anticipation.

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