by Calvin Ishee
At the June 4th Pass Christian Board of Alderman meeting, the Board unanimously voted to allocate $25,000 to participate in the 2019 Cruisin the Coast event. This includes three days of Cruisin’ events that features the ever popular Burn Out, which brings in thousands of fans to Pass Christian. As recently noted by Adam Pace, PC Cruisin Chair, this event is extremely profitable for Pass businesses while also bringing favorable recognition to the City.
Ward 3 Alderman Anthony Hall made sure to clarify that an additional allocation of around $5,000 will have to be added to next years budget to cover costs associated with this event. This year’s Cruisin the Coast is scheduled for October 10-12.
Traycee Scott Williams provided the Board with an update on the US 2020 Census. Williams began by saying, ‘‘The 2020 Census is all about fair representation-apportionment, congressional redistricting and BILLIONS of dollars’’. Unfortunately as a result of the last US Census, Mississippi lost a direly needed congressional seat.
Only 49% of Pass Christian residents participated in this federally mandated program, which grossly misrepresented the citizens of Pass Christian. Williams outlined a very aggressive plan to increase participation by Pass residents that includes the development of a local committee comprised of at least three residents from each ward. If you’re interested in serving on the Pass 2020 Committee, please contact your Alderman or city hall.
After a lengthy debate, the Board voted 4-1 to approve the request by former Police Chief, Tim Hendricks, to purchase his badge and gun for $1.00. The issue at hand was whether or not this was appropriate since this type of benefit is usually offered to officers that retire instead of resign.
Furthermore, it was noted that the City had just purchased a new gun that cost the City over $400. At-large Alderman Kenny Torgeson and Ward 1 Alderman Buddy Clarke overlooked these concerns and expressed, ‘’it’s a matter of respect’’ for the police officer. The only dissenting vote came from Alderman Hall.
The Board also unanimously voted to approve the 2019 Pass Christian Blessing of the fleet. According to Pass Mayor Léo ‘‘ Chipper’’ McDermott, ‘’after a two year absence, local fishermen came to me and asked if they could hold a Blessing of the Fleet’’. The Board set aside $1,200 to support this event which will be held on June 23rd in the Pass Christian Harbor.
Public Comments included Mayor McDermott stating the need to support the Gazebo Gazette, the only local newspaper primarily covering Pass Christian; Dorothy Roberts commended and thanked the City for the highly successful splash pad; Hunter Dawkins, Gazebo Gazette Publisher, expressed public support for interim Police Chief Daren Freeman with accountability and transparency; Alderman Hall payed tribute to this year’s Jazz in the Pass and Ward 2 Alderwoman Regina Charlot’s spoke of citizen concerns for the lack of consistent debris pickups from the local waste management company.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 18th, 6 p.m. at the Pass Christian Court Room. This meeting will feature the proposed Short Term Rental Ordinance.