Mayor Robert Bass of Long Beach will not peruse a third term as mayor. Thursday, Bass made the announcement in front of 50 business and community leaders during his 'State of the City' address.
There are a number of changes in Long Beach since last year, which Mayor Bass touched upon and praised early in the speech.
"Earlier this year we actually sold and transferred ownership of O'Mally fields to the University of Southern Mississippi - Gulf Coast. Take a look at the shops and restaurants up and down Jeff Davis Avenue, and think about what it looked like back in 1997. This is the first year we've had a major tax increase, and it was necessary to do those kinds of things. So we're providing the necessary level of services to the citizens of this community," Bass said.
And when it came to the Long Beach Police Department, Bass says the once controversial image of poor law enforcement is all but over.
"People were telling me and advising me that we needed good sound leadership in that department. Chief Shanker has come in. We were very blessed to be able to obtain a professional with a degree of qualifications," Bass said.
Bass also highlighted projects Long Beach has in the works.
"We are working to bring the interpretive center, environmental interpretive center to our harbor. This year we will have a brand new addition to the library. We're also, with another project, going to establish a down payment on a system of bike trails," Bass said.
Near the end of his speech, things got a little emotional, as Bass made a surprising remark.
"I'm not going to be a candidate for reelection in 2005. I never envisioned staying in this office more than two terms. I don't mean for this to sound like a farewell, but I do think it's appropriate for somebody in leadership to give appropriate notice to the community, so that the community can begin the process of seeing who will take over - who will succeed in a role," Bass said.
As for Bass's next role, he says it will be in public service.