WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Voters in Waveland are getting ready to head to the polls Tuesday to choose a mayor and four members of the board of alderman that will lead the city for the next four years.
So, what are those voters thinking, and what are the important issues facing the community?
The scars of Hurricane Katrina more than 13 years ago are still visible to this day. So is the emptiness in some parts of the city. Many voters say bringing back more businesses and people is a priority, something the storm put a stop to.
Tim, a Waveland resident has a suggestion.
“We just need an effort to bring the city close to what it used to be prior to Katrina, get more vitality down on Coleman,” he said.
Renee Soulie' just opened a small business in Waveland. She’s one of the few, and she feels there needs to be more.
“I’d like to see further economic development here. We were much more prosperous before Katrina, and we haven’t quite recovered yet. We have a a lot of open lots, a lot of empty land where businesses could be encouraged to come here,” she said.
Most of the Waveland residents say economic development is a key issue in the next four years, but some say the reason that economic development hasn’t happened yet is the fact that everything has to go up so high according to FEMA elevation requirements.
Bernie Cullen makes her feelings known about that.
“It’s very restrictive. I don’t see that kind of restriction anywhere else, even in the country. So, I think that we really need to see what we can do with FEMA and MEMA to improve the flood maps, so that people and businesses can come back to Waveland, “ Cullen said.
That would suit runner and real estate agent Valerie Fitts just fine.
“I think more commerce coming into the area. More people coming back and rebuilding on the land that’s still vacant.”
So, filling that emptiness seems to be job number one for the incoming city administration and letting everyone know the city is open for business.
The polls are open from 7am until 7pm. The only precinct in the city is the main fire station on Coleman Avenue.
The election format is winner take all, with no runoffs even in multiple candidate races. Whoever gets the most votes wins.