by Calvin Ishee, Associate Publisher

With the resignation of Pass Christian Municipal Judge Phillip Wittmann effective May 31, the Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the appointment of Pass Christian attorney Lewie “Skip” Negrotto to take his place.

Judge Wittman has been appointed as the full time Harrison County Public Defender beginning June 1, 2021.  As the city judge, Wittmann served honorably from June 2013 until May 2021.

According to Pass Christian City Attorney Malcom Jones, the vacancy was announced in last week’s edition of The Gazebo Gazette with only one application being received by the city.

Judge Negrotto comes with a great deal of legal experience. In fact; at the May 18 Board of Alderman meeting, Negrotto provided an update on a lawsuit against the municipality, which he is representing the City of Pass Christian along with serving as the city prosecutor.

In spite of opposition from the Pass Christian Code Office as well as the Pass Christian Tree Board, approval was granted by the Board to cut a major tree limb at the site of the Nicaud Taco Bar project located just east of Bacchus on the Beach restaurant.

Owner Jordan Nicaud explained the need to make unplanned additional cuts to the tree due to unforeseen problems with the layout of the structure. Although the Tree Board initially denied this request, they settled on a compromise that requires the Nicaud’s to plant four live oak trees at a location to be determined by the Tree Board and Code Office. Trimming the tree will save the company from spending thousands of dollars in redesign costs.

The Pass Christian Police Department received approval to pursue various grants; a Walmart Community Grant in the amount of $2,000 to purchase promotional items for PCPD sponsored community events; $5,000 Edward Byrne Memorial JAG Grant and the Bureau of Justice Assistance FY21 Bulletproof Vest Grant which will pay up to 50% of up to 5 bulletproof vests. The Board also approved a $2,000 donation from the Pass Christian Rotary Club.

In routine matters, the Board allowed Pass Christian High School to borrow folding chairs from the Randolph Center in support of this year’s graduation ceremony; then adopted the closure of Scenic Drive from Highway 90 West to Market Street for the Nicaud wedding on Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 4 to 7 p.m., and ratified the Pass Christian Middle School’s use of the Randolph Center for their annual track banquet.

Finally, the board waived the $50 permit fee for a citizen on Grayson Avenue for hardship reasons.

The Board authorized a $25,000 contribution to the 2021 Cruisin’ the Coast event to be held October 7-9, 2021, which will include events such as a band as well as the Annual Burn Out and $4,625 to Krol Electric to tie in the generator at Station 2.  $147,786.87 was approved on Claims Docket Expenses for this month.

The next Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 1, 2021 in the City Auditorium/Court Room.