by Calvin Ishee

The city of Pass Christian Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott shares his thoughts on the global pandemic of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and how it has impacted the community.

Gazebo Gazette: You’ve led the City through Hurricane Katrina, BP Oil Spill and other major challenges, what’s been the biggest challenges associated with the COVID 19 pandemic and are there any similarities with the other crises?

Mayor McDermott:  “The biggest challenge has been this is an unprecedented event that is not made up of a defined boundary but a nation and worldwide problem that has shut down everything. With about 75 percent of retail sales in the Pass coming from out of town people, it has been catastrophic!”
GG: What are you most proud of with respect to how the City of Pass Christian has responded to the pandemic?

Mayor McDermott: “I am proud of the fact that we have kept city business going in very unusual and unprecedented circumstances and our employees who have done this.”

GG: What if anything would you do different in handling this crisis?

Mayor McDermott: “There is nothing I know we could have done different as we are following the governor’s executive orders.”

GG:  What message do you personally have as Mayor to the residents of Pass Christian?
Mayor McDermott:  “My advice to the public is social distancing and good hygiene as recommended by all medical professionals so we can get back to normal ASAP.  I’d also remind them that this too will pass.”
GG:  What message do you have as Mayor to the businesses in The Pass, especially those that have suffered during the pandemic?

Mayor McDermott: ”To our small businesses, which I always promote and patronize,  I hope they have filed for the PPP money to help them in these difficult times, and that we all look forward to their reopening soon.”

GG: Has the City developed a plan for handling a resurgence or second round of COVID 19 in the fall/winter of 2020?

Mayor McDermott: ”Any plan involving any future virus related issue will involve following, as always the Governor and the CDC orders and directions.”

GG: Other Mayors have used their authority to end the curfew, why haven’t you exercised your authority to do the same?

Mayor McDermott: “No mayor has the authority to put on or take off a curfew without the BOA, the other cities did it that way too. We just didn’t call a special meeting and decided to wait for the May 5th meeting to do so.”
GG:  How many confirmed COVID 19 cases have there been in the Pass?
Mayor McDermott:  ”To my knowledge 3 cases, any further info about them is protected by medical laws and not privy to me or the public.”
The Mayor and his team continues “doing the City’s business” while also monitoring the COVID 19 pandemic on a daily basis. He also continues his recurring plea to residents encouraging them to buy local each and every chance they get.