BSL Council Update - April 2021
I want to thank my opponent, Larry Smith, for running a tough race, and for his four years of service to the city. Running for any type of elected office is not an easy task, and I have much respect for all citizens who feel compelled to get involved in their community.
I want to thank my family, friends and supporters who believe in my message and platform and have the confidence to allow me to serve Ward 4 and Bay Saint Louis.
Over the past week, I have had the chance to reflect on the past four years and achieving my goal of better versing my knowledge base to best serve as councilman. I am very thankful for the many great opportunities in serving our community, most recently on Planning and Zoning and several local non-profit agencies and effectively applying that experience to the Council.
My goal is to surround myself with positive individuals that inspire me to elevate my management and leadership abilities. I hope that, in turn, I can provide that same effect to my colleagues. I look forward to working with my fellow council members and the administration to yield positive results for all Bay Saint Louis taxpayers.
I believe Bay Saint Louis is at a pivotal point in time, and the decisions made by our council today will have a lasting impact for the landscape of our cherished city.
As the saying goes, “getting elected is the easy part; now the hard work begins.” I want to provide a brief overview of the areas of focus in my upcoming term.
- Encourage growth, but smart growth that does not impede on the quality of life we all cherish. Ward 4 has seen two of the densest developments in BSL. As Planning and Zoning commissioner, I have consistently advocated for decreasing the density of proposals, to minimize the impact on the quality of life of the residents in surrounding areas.
As council member, I will continue to balance the concerns of the neighbors who may be impacted and listen/advocate on their behalf to preserve all our quality of life. It was evident in the recent candidate public forum that many of the current city leaders acknowledge the great need for developing a strategic plan that will best position BSL for the future.
It is important for the new council to focus strategically on updating our Comprehensive Plan that will establish the blueprint for preserving the quality of life of all residents. This plan will serve as a roadmap for other commissions, such as Planning and Zoning and the Historic Preservation Commission, so all can share the same standards for smart growth in our city.
- Focus on better opportunities for parks and recreation for our children. Young families decide where they will raise their children based upon two primary factors: schools and park/recreational opportunities. I take a different point of view than same council members because of my with three young children. We often travel to other cities that have amazing recreational areas and ballfields, and in this regard, BSL is greatly behind the curve. I know there are opportunities to focus on this without negatively affecting taxpayers.
Pass Christian, Long Beach and Biloxi all have recreational directors and departments to focus on these initiatives, and there is no reason BSL cannot provide a similar framework for our children. It will take persistence and vision, and I look forward to the opportunity to provide both.
- Continued focus on drainage and clearing of ditches, which if left unkempt will continue to deteriorate our roads. The city has recently approved a substantial bond that we will be repaying over the next 20 years. Much of the bond money will be used for paving and re-paving of roads. However, we must continue to focus on the maintenance of ditches and drainage to protect our investment.
- Although this impact is just outside of Ward 4, I will strategically work with the council on a plan to better mitigate the traffic/parking concerns downtown. This topic has frequently come up when speaking with residents of Ward 4. We have an opportunity to not only mitigate the congestion and parking concerns, but I believe we should set standards consistent with our Historic Planning Commission to ensure the business growth downtown has a higher set of standards to meet when developing a downtown that is consistent with our charm and historic appeal.
- I know and recognize the importance of our Historic and Planning Commissions. The HPC ensures that the charm and character of designated areas is preserved and that growth adheres to a consistent character to preserve our historic setting. I look forward in working with both the P&Z and HPC to better navigate the future of our great city.
Once again, thank you for the support and I look forward to the opportunity to serve.
Ward 4 Councilman-Elect