New Day in the Bay
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
On June 6, the voters of Bay St. Louis hired on a team of mayor and seven councilmen who will serve them for the next four years. The eight officials took their oaths of office before a full house on June 30 at the Bay St. Louis Community Hall (with the exception of Gene Hoffman who was unable to attend and was sworn in at the June 22nd city council meeting).
They officially commenced their jobs at 12.01 a.m., July 1. The first city council meeting for these new officials is slated for 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 5.
The Shoofly was able to contact most of the officials the week before they took office. All expressed enthusiasm for their upcoming terms of service. You can read their comments below.
Talk of the Town
Mayor Mike Favre
"I look forward to working with a council that is laser-focused on accomplishing, accountability and transparency. Together, I am confident that we will make Bay Saint Louis the place that people choose to live, work, do business, play and pray."
As a lifelong resident and your current Councilman at Large, I am committed to preserving and improving our city as A Place A-P-A-R-T. I am the son of Ethel and the late Nelius, brother of Neil and Eddie, father of Casey and husband of Sissy Seal Favre. I have an extensive history of local community involvement. I actively support and am involved in organizations such as CASA, Coastal Conservation Association, OLG Crab Fest, and numerous school and youth organizations.
I respectfully ask for your support as I seek the position of Mayor of Bay Saint Louis. I will return integrity to this city and return Bay Saint Louis to being A Place A-P-A-R-T. We will become ACCOUNTABLE for the decisions we make and make decisions that are PRACTICAL, bringing common sense spending to city government. We will make Bay Saint Louis ATTRACTIVE and the city that people choose to live, work, do business, play and pray. As your Mayor, I will be fully RESPONSIVE to every citizen in every geographic area and TRANSPARENT, so that government is open and easily understood by all stakeholders.
Together we can, together we will … return Bay Saint Louis to being A Place A-P-A-R-T.
Councilman At-Large Gary Knoblock
"I have a vision of things going forward in Bay St. Louis. Right now, we’re experiencing phenomenal growth. I’d like to see that revitalization continue, which will create a good economic climate."
"I’d like to help create a realistic budget that everyone can live with while meeting our needs. Among other things, I plan to support the library and see the police department continue to rebuild itself and find funding to build a new station."
In 1996, I moved to Bay St. Louis to be with family. After living here for 3 months, I decided I was here to stay and opened a small and barely noticed sign company called Lightning Quick Signs. For the next twenty years, I built a stable and long lasting company. During this time, I consistently volunteered in the community.
Currently, I serve as President of the BSL Rotary club, and Chairman of the Bay St. Louis Planning and Zoning Commission and have served in this position for the last 4 years. The Planning and Zoning commission serves as an advisory board to the City Council-to make recommendations as to variances, and zoning changes.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated our city, I reopened Lightning Quick Signs. I did this for many reasons but most important, I wanted to help rebuild and reestablish the economic engine of the community.
I want the citizens of this fine city to know that I am invested here. That everything I have committed too is for the betterment of Bay St. Louis. To continue this journey I am asking for your vote to be our next Councilman At Large of Bay St. Louis on June 6th.
Ward One: Doug Seal
"I am looking forward to working with this council. As a result of tremendous growth in Bay St. Louis, we will be presented with some challenges that we must be able to work together with as a group to solve. I would like move on from some of the past issues that have bogged us down and distracted us from the work at hand. The city needs to work as a group to look at ways to spend the taxpayers’ dollars wisely, but at the same time ensuring the city has enough funding to carry us through difficult times."
Let me start by thanking God and the residents of Ward 1 for giving me the opportunity to serve you and the citizens of Bay St Louis. These past few years have been a very rewarding but challenging time in the city of Bay St. Louis. We have overcome some difficult times and unfortunate situations, but we continue to head toward a bright and prosperous future.
As your Councilman, I have fought to improve our community and have been diligent in researching all matters that affect our community. As a result of my hard work and dedication my peers have recognized me as someone who will do his research to find all the facts, and then fight to do what is right.
I have been married to my wife Michele for the past 29 years. We have two sons - Cody 29, Cayce 25, and one grandson, Easton who is three.
Our families will be here for generations to come and what we do today will have a profound impact on their future. Again thank you for the privilege and honor to serve you and the citizens of Bay St. Louis.
Ward Two: Gene Hoffman
Eugene “Gene” J. Hoffman, IV, is an Attorney with Tonry, Brinson & Glorioso and Patriot Title. Gene attended Jesuit High School, NOLA, and graduated Cum Laude. He went to LSU where he married his lovely wife Edie. They have 2 wonderful children, a boy Gene V, age 14, and a beautiful girl Julia, age 10. He and his family have lived in Bay St Louis, MS since 2002, and love the Coastal Life. He is a very active member of the community and is involved with his kids’ activities, “Coach Gene”.
Gene received his Juris Doctorate from LSU Law in 1998, and has over 22 years of experience in LA & MS real estate, corporate, manufacturing and business. Gene has used his legal expertise as an attorney for various financial institutions and corporate entities. He served as General Manager, COO and Corporate Attorney for Air Quest Systems.
Gene is an exceptional senior executive, strategic planner, project manager, and team leader with successful managerial, financial, and legal experience. Proven ability to improve operations, impact business growth and maximize profits through achievements in finance, cost reductions, internal controls, and efficiency improvements. He is articulate, with effective and persuasive communication and negotiation skills.
Ward Three: Jeffery Reed
"We’re going to do some great things that will lift our residents to another level of living. It’s an exciting time for all the city officials as we move forward and take our city to heights it’s never been to before."
I am a life-long resident of Ward 3 in Bay St. Louis and the incumbent for Ward 3 City Council. I am also the founder of Powerhouse of Deliverance Ministries, Inc. and the owner of Reed’s Masonry, LLC, both in Bay St. Louis. During my 12 years of government service I have successfully secured private and government grants to help strengthen individuals, families, churches and communities. Furthermore, I have received the following relevant awards: Governor’s Humanitarian Award for Katrina Recovery Efforts & Key to City of La Habara, California for Katrina Recovery.
When I was elected in 2005, Ward 3 was the most underserved, under-funded and unvalued ward in the City of Bay St. Louis. Today, through my experience, integrity and hard work, Ward 3 has progressively become a much safer, cleaner, more neighborly and business-friendly community. As Councilman of Ward 3, I remain committed to the responsibility in which you have entrusted me by representing your interest before the mayor and city council. Through my service, Ward 3 has made great strides and has moved progressively forward. Therefore, I still believe that our best days are yet ahead and I am the right man to bring us there.
Ward Four: Larry Smith
My public service involvement as a Manager/Job Specialist for Jobs for Mississippi Graduates has provided me with heavy exposure and extensive daily dealings with the community in the development and administration of board budgets, committees, policies, and procedures and in promoting the organization and ensuring a professional image. Through my experience and involvement with diverse group of professionals I have enjoyed substantial growth as a direct result of my efforts and won several national awards for excellence.
National Board Certified Counselor Certification
Nationally Certified Trainer Train the Trainer Seminar, Zanesville, Ohio
Microsoft OEM System Builder since 1995.
Intel Networking Certified.
Twenty-two years in the computer industry, parts, hardware, software, installation, sales.
Mississippi Certified License in English and Counseling
Master’s Degree, Psychology, and Counseling
Baccalaureate Degrees, English, and Theology, Minors in Philosophy, and French
St. Joseph’s Seminary College, St. Benedict, LA.
Storm Computers 1995-Present
Owner and operator of computer company. Teach Microsoft software and its applications. Give hands-on training with practical applications for personal and business use.
Co-Commander of the Bay PD Reserves
Clerk of Court City of Bay St. Louis
"I’ve already gotten a great cooperative feel from the other council members. I think this is going to be a very energetic council, who will pinpoint problems, roll up our sleeves and get to work. Some of them have already been out here in Ward 5 looking at some of our issues and seeing for themselves things that need to be done."
"I plan on being a full-time councilman and working with the others to do the best job we can possibly do. We’re ready to go to work."
If elected, I will rely heavily on my 29 years of experience in the Public Works Department for the City of Bay St. Louis and 15 years of experience in construction on projects such as Buccaneer Park, DuPont, GE Plastics, and the Army Ammunition Plant.
Since 1974, I have spent my years raising my children in this wonderful place we call home. I can proudly say I have raised a nurse, a teacher/coach, and a housewife. At home I still have a six and eight year old for whom I have big dreams of seeing become productive members of our community.
I will work tirelessly, using the love and passion I have for our community to guide my actions to make it the best it can be. I believe cooperation among city leaders is essential for our city to move forward. Therefore, my campaign motto is “Together we can move in a new direction.” Let us come together to make this a place we can all be proud to call home.
Ward 6: Josh DeSalvo
"A lot of things I vote on will impact the city as a whole and I’m going to keep that in mind. I want to see the city grow in a good direction. I’m going to be a working councilperson and not a meeting councilperson. I’m ready to get to work."
I have lived in our community since 1977 and have two sons John, 22 and Jared, 16. I am engaged to Lori Simmons and excited that within the next year my family will double in size adding two beautiful daughters, Victoria, 24 and Issabella, 19.
Many of you may remember me from my previous employer, ABC Rental. I managed the Bay St. Louis branch from 1994 to 2006 during a time that our business saw substantial growth.
I am the owner of Waterslides of the Coast that I opened in 2006. I am proud to say what started out as one jumpy and a truck now has turned into the largest inflatable company on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I currently serve as Chairman of the Hancock County Water and Sewer District and The Chairman of the Hancock County Utility Authority.
I decided to seek this position because, I witnessed firsthand that by making the right decisions and working together as a team, the possibilities for our community are endless.
“For a positive day in the Bay!”