D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - It was his first official role as the new D'Iberville City Manager. On Monday morning, Michael Janus helped celebrate the opening of Newk's Express Restaurant in the new Promenade Shopping Center.
"It's exciting," said Janus. "I mean, you can't imagine a better job. Within three hours on the job, you already have a ribbon cutting."
Janus took the opportunity to learn new names and catch up with some familiar faces. Then it was time to head back to City Hall for a busy afternoon.
"I haven't filled out my employment paperwork yet. I was wondering if I was going to get paid," Janus joked.
After 14 years in the public limelight, the former state representative is now working behind the scenes. Janus said he wants city employees to know he believes in teamwork.
"I want to reassure them that in my mind, I think the city's moving in the right direction," said Janus. "So I don't believe it's my role to come in and try to change things or shake things up."
Janus is ready to use his experience in the state legislature and background in economic development to help the city grow.
"I'd like to see some downtown development, some mixed-use with residential and commercial downtown, a waterfront area," said Janus.
Janus said he is very aware of the uproar when the city didn't renew the contract of former City Manager Richard Rose and how former Harrison County Supervisor Bobby Eleuterius suddenly withdrew his application for the job. But Janus called Monday a new day and a fresh start for the city.
"I am the new city manager and I want to be very open with the citizens, elected officials, and with the staff here to continue on a positive foot," said Janus. "I always aspired to run a city or be involved in running a city, and so when this opportunity came along, I jumped on it. So far, no regrets. Everything has been wonderful and I can say I've made the right decision."
Janus had about two years left in his term in the state House. The governor will have to set a special election to fill that seat.