Moss Point mayor reflects on tumultuous term

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - There's a lot to reflect on as Xavier Bishop packs his office. He describes his term almost like a four year roller coaster, that's finally coming to a stop. He said during his term he's developed a thick skin.

"It's all happened so quickly," Bishop said. "I look upon it very favorably considering the fact that I have made it through the past few years, given how tumultuous it has been."

He says the unrest started with Katrina and continued throughout his term, as he struggled to rebuild a devastated city with limited tax revenue with which to work.

"I came in with an agenda that I felt was very doable in a four year time frame," he said. "And yet many things I'd set out to accomplish, I wasn't able to accomplish."

His biggest disappointment is his administration's failure to bring economic development to Moss Point, especially Highway 63, which Bishop believes has vast potential as a commercial thoroughfare.

While he said the storm caused the most massive hurdle of his entire administration, it also brought a few of the successes. Many of those successes won't be visible until well after next week, when his term comes to an end. His administration was able to set several highly-anticipated projects into motion that the next administration will inherit.

"The plans for downtown came about as a result of the hurricane," Bishop said.  "[They] give us a lot ot look forward to, a new city hall, new central fire station, new riverfront park and boardwalk."

Bishop said he doesn't regret not being in office when those plans become reality.

"I take a lot of satisfaction just knowing that I had a hand in making it possible," he said.

But now, Bishop said its time for a break.

"I am going to take time off and just relax," he said. "I don't know what career move I'll make next, I'm not even sure at this point where my interests lie."

He isn't sure he'll run for office again or even stay in Moss Point, but Bishop said he's dedicated to serving the Gulf Coast.

"I feel obligated to continue to serve the Coast in some capacity," he said. "As long as I have gifts that I can share with others I'll always want to do that."

Bishop's last day at work will be Thursday, July 2nd. He will be joined in the office this week by incoming mayor Aneice Liddell. He said she's taking over at a critical time in Moss Point's history. He said he believes there's very little room for error in Moss Point's development.

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