by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – thegazebogazette@gmail.com or hdawkins@supertalk.fm

Following a lengthy discussion about the state of the city by Mayor George Bass and recognizing multiple first responders at Hardy Hall Ballroom on the University of Southern Miss-Gulf Park Campus, Long Beach native Jimmy Levens was awarded 2023 Aline Doherty Citizen of the Year.  Levens is the founder and was the owner of JLB, which was originally named J. Levens Builders, Inc. in 1994.

Levens Builders worked on contracts with federal and local governmental entities, as well as private companies while maintaining a strong commitment to success, honesty, integrity, and excellence in craftsmanship.  According to Long Beach Mayor Bass, Levens has demonstrated his lifetime support of The Friendly City in sponsorship, participation, and organization with all community events.Additionally, Bass mentioned Levens involvement in his local church activities and hosting events to support them.

Before the awards were presented, the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anna Claire Perronne and Chair Colette Byrnes introduced Mayor Bass, who was giving his first public presentation since his remission of cancer in late August.  Bass first spoke of Non-Hodgkin’s B-Cell Lymphoma diagnosis in April and was not able to work during most of this period.

The mayor publicly thanked the Long Beach Board of Aldermen and Alderman-at-Large/Mayor Pro-Temp Donald Frazer for leading the city during this time.  Bass’s presentation was roughly 40 minutes talking about several different projects that were done, those that were nearly complete, and others the city were awaiting help on.

“We’re moving forward with different projects, especially the harbor,” stated Long Beach Mayor George Bass, in his second term after serving over 30 years with the city’s fire department.  “It’s our priority to get this harbor back in order because of many families used different parts here to go fishing and crabbing to support their family.  This is part of life here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Conclusively, Bass completed by addressing the funding and displays of The Gateway project in a PowerPoint presentation to show future design along with current signs around the city.

Among the first responders receiving awards, the Long Beach Police Department recognized Jordan Cutrer with Officer of the Year, Clayton Maxwell as Long Beach Fireman of the Year, Ricky Skinner as Public Works Employee of the Year, and Greg Doyle as American Medical Response Employee of the Year.