Places & Faces
First Person with Mike Danahay
5/3/2018 9:04:18 PM
First Person

On May 15, Mike Danahay will be sworn in as the new Mayor of the City of Sulphur. Born and raised in Sulphur, Danahay graduated from Sulphur High School and McNeese State University, and has continued to live, work and serve in this community throughout his life.  He served as a Private Industry Council representative for the West Calcasieu Association of Commerce, as a member and vice chairman of the Sulphur Civil Service Board, and as president of the Sulphur Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners, before being elected to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury where he served eight years. For the past 11 years, Danahay has held the office of Louisiana State Representative for District 33. 

His core values of faith, family and community are in sync with the town he will always call home.  While Danahay is dedicated to his community, he is also a devoted family man. Most free evenings are spent with his 91-year-old father. He adores his wife, Daphne, two daughters, and five grandchildren. He and his family enjoy being outdoors and taking adventure vacations. Danahay also plays golf, though he rarely has the time lately. 

Thrive magazine recently caught up with this busy public servant, and he provided some insight on his motivation to serve and his goals for the City of Sulphur.

What prompted you to run for the office of Sulphur Mayor?
Daphne and I felt it was the right decision at the right time. I’ll still be serving, but here in the town I love. My final term as a Representative would end next year, and while I’m proud of the many things I’ve accomplished in this role for our district, I know I can do more for my home town as Mayor during this unprecedented time of opportunity and growth. I believe so strongly in Sulphur and our potential, and I know I have the experience to lead our city through the challenges we are facing so that we emerge even stronger, better than we’ve ever been before. It is these experiences that prompted my decision to seek the office of Mayor of Sulphur. 

You have had a long and varied career. What experiences in your previous roles have prepared you to take Sulphur into its next chapter? 
Working in business sales for many years has taught me to listen to each of my customer’s needs in order to help them find the right solution to their problem. Having the privilege of serving the public for over 20 years has afforded me the experience of learning much about the inner workings of government. My years as a Police Juror and as a Representative taught me many lessons. First, to always listen to citizens’ concerns, and secondly, how to work with others to solve problems. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to work with many accomplished people whose successful management styles I’ve learned much from and attempt to emulate. 

How would you describe your leadership style?
I strive to empower those around me to exercise their best qualities, but at the same time hold them accountable for their actions. I believe in leading by example. I work hard and expect those on my team to do the same. I take a common sense, conservative approach to leadership and government. 

What is your vision for the City of Sulphur? What changes would you most like to see and how will you accomplish those goals? 
We face many challenges in the City of Sulphur. The core services that all municipalities are responsible for are a top priority. Water, waste water, roads, bridges, fire and police protection, and the ever-growing problems with drainage, need to be assessed and prioritized to be able to appropriate the adequate funding necessary for upgrades. Unfortunately, the needs are greater than the funding available. This is why we must be wise in our decisions on these expenditures. 

We are fortunate to be experiencing a historical economic expansion in Southwest Louisiana. As a city we must make every effort to capitalize on this growth and plan for the future. Having experienced and innovative personnel involved in the decision-making process will be key to the success of our economic development efforts.

What would you like to tell not only the citizens of Sulphur, but the community of Southwest Louisiana as a whole? 
I am excited for the future of Sulphur and look forward to serving the citizens of this city I love in a much more direct capacity.  My ultimate goal is to make sure that our children and grandchildren will be proud to live and work in work in Sulphur – proud to call it their home, too.
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