by Brian Lamar, Assignment Editor
Long Beach’s Ward 6 will have a runoff election on Tuesday, April 27th between Pete McGoey and Owen McNally. Voting will be held at the Long Beach School District Central Office. Polls will be open 7 AM to 7 PM.
Absentee voting will start Thursday, April 15th at City Hall during regular business hours ( 8 AM to 5 PM ). City Hall will also be open Saturday, April 17th from 8 AM to 12 PM and Saturday, April 24th, from 8 AM to 12 PM.
During this runoff race, two contestants hope for your vote to hire them as the Ward 6 representative for the city.
Pete McGoey has spent most of his life serving others. After a lifetime of service in the military followed by a second career as a postal worker and a part-time law enforcement officer with Harrison County, he spends countless evenings and weekends volunteering to coach youth baseball.
“I feel like serving as an alderman is just one more facet of service to others. I feel like I have always been a contributor,” said McGoey.
McGoey feels that life events combined with multiple roles he has filled during his life have all blended together to provide him with the experience needed to be successful.
“The biggest thing that I can reflect on that has prepared me for anything that can be thrown my way was Hurricane Katrina,” said McGoey. “I was the Post Master of Pass Christian at the time. It taught me to overcome adversity at a level I never thought I would have to deal with,” McGoey explained as he reflected on the most destructive catastrophe many current Long Beach residents have experienced in their lifetime.
During the aftermath of Katrina, McGoey established a makeshift post office in a tent to help residents continue to receive mail and checks that were desperately needed.
I feel that my demonstrated resourcefulness in even the toughest times will help me work to overcome obstacles in regards to development and rebuilding the harbor, according to McGoey.
McGoey’s main priorities for Ward 6 is a laser focus on the harbor and improvements thereof.
“I am quite tired that every time we have a storm, we experience setbacks and it causes us to close the harbor. I want to upgrade the harbor so it can withstand damage,” said McGoey.
According to McGoey, since the voters want a casino, he feels it will be his job to help facilitate it but in a smart way. “The Casino development has to be a deal that is correct for the city. We can’t move forward in a haphazard way,” he explained.
McGoey also expressed that he is afraid that Long Beach could become stagnant. He wants to work to ensure that the city continues to progress in smart and methodical ways.
McGoey isn’t alone in his endeavors. Although he refused to solicit donations for his campaign that is mostly self-funded, he has a strong support base at home.
“I have my wife and my adult children and grandchildren. I have leaned on my wife through this process. Financially, I am a unique individual. I didn’t solicit from businesses. This was my decision and this was something of my own undertaking. I didn’t want anyone else footing the bill for me. It is my responsibility. I am dedicated to Ward 6 and its 1250 constituents,” said McGoey.
During the campaign process, McGoey has found the internal drive to keep it classy attempting to stay away from any negative campaigning.
“I extended my hand to my opponent out of the utmost respect for him. Although I respect my opponent, I will say due to my life experiences and record of service, I think my experiences of what I have done and what I have been through fills the role and makes me the most qualified for the role of alderman of Ward 6.
McGoey, hopes more voters come out on April 27th for the runoff. Only 15 percent of eligible voters came out last week.
Local government and elections have more of an effect on your daily life than National politics,” McGoey said.
Only 15 percent of the voters came out last Tuesday. Local government and local elections have more of an effect on your daily life.
Where McGoey, has strengths over rival candidate Owen McNally due to a long life of experiences, McNally looks to lean on his knowledge and skills base as a business owner and lawyer to help him navigate some complex issues that the city is likely to face in the near and long-term future due to developments and growth.
“I hope to be able to use my legal knowledge to better Long Beach’s future endeavors where it will benefit the citizens of Long Beach,” said McNally.
Owen McNally is a business owner and attorney from Long Beach. He wants to put his legal experience to work for his neighbors in Ward Six as their Alderman and believes that the city will benefit from his experience.
Owen McNally grew up in Long Beach. He attended St. Thomas and St. Paul Elementary School. After starting middle school and high school at St. Stanislaus College he finished his junior year at Long Beach High School and graduated in 2006. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in international business from Spring Hill College, where he attended on a full basketball scholarship.
McNally attended a few semesters at law school in Ole Miss but then took an opportunity to play a professional basketball career in Glasgow Scotland. When an injury cut his professional baller days short, McNally came back to the Magnolia state to finish law school.
While classmates and colleagues moved away to bigger cities for alternative career paths after law school, McNally wanted to come back home and serve his hometown and use his knowledge base to help neighbors and friends.
I have been fortunate. Basketball has taken me a long way. I got picked up in Glasgow playing professional ball. I understand how important extracurricular activities are. Although, a main priority of mine will be assisting the city with attracting more youth sports and extracurricular outlets, according to McNally who currently volunteers to coach youth basketball.
McNally is well versed in consumer bankruptcy, real estate law, and probate, and estate administration. McNally also has experience in drainage and water rights. He has worked on breach of contract litigation and land-owner disputes, which he feels will help immensely with zoning laws and ordinances.
McNally also wants to work to improve the quality of life and livability of Long Beach in the future. “I think with Long Beach’s taxes the being high way they are, it will take smart, but hard work to expand businesses to create a strong tax base internally. He wants to be less reliant on Federal handouts and grants to get things done. Balancing a budget internally is paramount,” said McNally.
McNally also wants to give the citizens more power and more of a voice.
“I would like to see an increased amount of time for notices for issues like rezoning variances. Better communication from the city with signs announcing hearings. I want signage so an entire street or neighborhood that could be affected by changes can know beforehand. When I walked door-to-door, I listened to citizens explain how upset they are about past events because they weren’t aware of changes that they could have debated in a public hearing,” McNally explained.
Although not a gambler himself, McNally plans to support the Casino development because it is what the people have voted for. His take on some citizen’s fear of increased crime is that the Island View is just right down the road. Whatever crime a casino would bring our area has already affected us.
McNally believes the way to keep younger citizens in Long Beach will be to not only improve recreational facilities and events but to provide an environment for better jobs.
“If we want to keep the younger population here we need jobs. We can have as many parks that we want, but if we don’t provide jobs, the younger population will move away to find work,” he stated..
“I want the people of Ward 6 to consider voting for me because I have legal experience that will help me address the issues we are going to be seeing. I think my legal background will best help me help the city take advantage of future opportunities. Beatline Parkway might not happen for 20 or 40 years. There are lots of legal issues that will pop up. As an attorney, I can pick up those issues and make sound and informed decisions that will be best to represent the people of this city,” McNally said.
McNally would like to thank the voters who came out on April 6th but hopes to see even more show up on April 27th.
McNally also commented on how hospitable the people of Ward 6 have been during his walkabout during the campaign.