by Hunter Dawkins

In Pass Christian Wednesday evening, a new term for its Board of Aldermen began. Pass Christian City Attorney Malcolm Jones who officiated the swearing-in ceremony said, “Some think all they do is procedural,” but rather all city officials were dedicated to serve the citizens “and what you do for the pay is not commensurate.”

Ward 1 Alderman Buddy Clarke was sworn in for his second consecutive term by Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Chris Schmidt.
Ward 2 Alderman Regina Charlot became the first African-American woman on the city’s Board of Alderman. Charlot was sworn in by five-term Mississippi State Senator and Pass Christian resident Deborah Dawkins. Charlot briefly spoke of her hope for communication with Pass residents and city departments to be strong.

Re-elected Ward 3 Alderman Anthony Hall had Harrison County Justice Court Judge Melvin Ray deliver him the oath of office. Hall expressed thanks to all city staff for the hard work accomplished during his previous terms.

Before receiving their Mayoral Oath by Judge Schmidt, Ward 4 Alderman Victor Pickich said that he has the honor of doing the job of Alderman for his second term and Alderman At Large Kenny Torgeson spoke of the city’s progress and plan to get more done with this new administration.

Finally, Harrison County Court Judge and long-time friend Gaston Hewes delivered the oath of office to fourth-term Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott. McDermott spoke to the resurgence of Pass Christian since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 including the two new hotels – the first in 70 years for Pass Christian.

Mayor McDermott said that these next four years in Pass Christian will not be forgotten.

After a brief adjournment, the board dove right into city business. Of note:

  • Alderman At Large Torgeson was unanimously appointed as Mayor Pro-Tem.
  • Approved FY2017 Tidelands Grant Agreement for Henderson Avenue Park in the amount of $45,500.
  • Tabled approving contract for law enforcement services for extracurricular activities and functions with the Pass Christian School District
  • Approved three items recommended by the Planning Department: a 6-foot tall wooden privacy fence at 1500 E 2nd Street; a driveway to exceed the 12-foot maximum width at 125 Espy Avenue; a Re-Subdivision at 108 Dogwood Lane to combine the two lots.
  • For the Water Department, approved paying $677 for overtime repairs and $630 for emergency conditions encountered due to heavy rain in June 2017, as recommended by WPSCO/Utility Manager.
  • Approved $280 monthly subscription to TransUnion Risk and Alternative Data Solutions to be utilized as an investigation and research tool for the Pass PD.
  • Unanimous approval to declare over 60 items at the Police Department as surplus and disposal and remove from inventory.

The Board’s next meeting will be July 18 at 6PM at the City Court Building.