by Anthony Hall, Alderman – Pass Christian Ward 3
Let me start by thanking the citizens of Ward 3 for allowing me to serve as your alderman over the past years. It is a pleasure and will continue to be my pleasure serving Ward 3 and the community if you allow me to continue.
With confidence, I can truly say that I have lived in service of my community and my city. I understand that a politician will do and say whatever it takes to get elected, but all I can speak for is myself.
Being in the seat as a public servant, I know that I work and speak for all people within my ward, both the majority and the marginalized. I must make difficult decisions that will benefit our community and our city as a whole. It is you, the people, that have the power to vote and decide who represents you and I feel that in a municipal government, representation matters as well as someone who will not lean on their political biases when making policy decisions.
For the readers that are native and new to Pass Christian, I was here before Katrina, during Katrina and after Katrina. At the time of Hurricane Katrina, I was managing the Long Beach/Pass Christian Wastewater Plant.
My family–my children, grandchildren and even our dog–stayed in that facility during the storm and weathered it out as flood levels rose almost to the third floor. I was here after the hurricane, immediately walking the streets documenting all the damage throughout the city.
Our first City Council meeting was under the water tower, and we talked about how to get resources into our city as effectively as possible.
For various reasons, some people had to move to different locations and different states to rebuild their lives, but I stayed here because I thought I was of better service to the city if I helped rebuild. My family and I stayed in a FEMA trailer, like many of you. Amid helping put resources back into the community and overseeing the repair of our city’s infrastructure, I was also rebuilding a life for my family in Pass Christian, our home.
Many people did not get to see the changes being made, such as new water and sewer lines being replaced and the new city complex and the new harbor built, but these all happened in Ward 3.
However, yes, there is plenty more to be done, as there are always needs that must be met and we are always advancing.
Other notable changes include the tax incentives we gave to local businesses in the downtown area. This effort was to get businesses back in our town as well as give opportunity for entrepreneurship and employment within our city.
I believe it is also important to note that some of our new codes are guided by FEMA policy and guidelines.
Between several town hall meetings, the citizens of Pass Christian came to a consensus to adopt the new “Smart Code” building scale plans. Yes, the planning commission has revised the codes several times as things are always changing.
For example, some of the new heights to buildings help the citizens with their flood insurance rate. In the last 16 years, we’ve developed many things.
To list a few are 2 hotels, local developments have happened such as on Davis St. around the hardware store, the Henderson Avenue Park, housing developments such as Pass estates, and even the paving of St. Paul and Amar.
I’ve seen there was concern about the issues within Pass Estates becoming political because of the election; however, the issues of Pass Estates were brought before the mayor and board of aldermen long before the election began.
I was there in the meeting along with the mayor and others when we met with the Pass Estates developer on some maintenance issues. The developer did agree with us that they needed to do a better job of getting homes repaired.
With the next budget being developed soon, I’d like to see money being allotted towards things that will make our city safer and more accessible.
Such as getting streets within my ward paved as well as moving forward with the sidewalk project so that people, especially children and teenagers have safer ways of getting up and down North Street, such as when walking or riding bikes from the middle and high school to the Dollar General, gas station and snowball stand to name a few destinations.
Money isn’t the incentive I fawn over in this job, it’s the influence and power granted to me by the people to make positive and tangible changes for the benefit of the communities within our city.
I do agree the goal is to beautify and continue to build within Pass Christian, but by making our home accessible and attractive to everyone who already resides in it, as well as comes into and passes through it.
And doing this without relocating or gentrifying the historic culture of the city.
As aldermen, we only have one vote.
I pride myself on making educated decisions and abstaining from voting on things purely out of my decision to be swayed by personal interest or bandwagon, my vote is in the interest of the people.
It will take bipartisan efforts to handle adequate decision-making for the city. Instead of perpetuating divisiveness, we should come together.
To the citizens of Ward 3, my family grew up here and have grown to make Pass Christian their home for our grandchildren.
With us being involved in the community, I feel as if I’ve been granted the experience of establishing connections and interconnected relations with individuals and families from within the city and outside of it.
Having personal ties to the community and relations with people means a lot to me because then I get a first-hand account of the needs of the people and do whatever is in my power to make sure their voices and concerns are heard.
So, remember on June 8th, vote for Anthony “Ba Ba” Hall, Alderman Ward 3, a true public servant who will serve citizens of not only Ward 3 but the city of Pass Christian.