Gautier sets special election for vacant council seat

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier has set November 30th for a special election to fill a vacant council seat. Don Nash resigned as city council member at-large because he said the demands of his job made it too hard to attend meetings. Residents talked about what kind of candidate they'd like to see throw his or her hat into the ring.

Some Gautier residents say they're tired of buying bottled water, so a council candidate whose platform includes improving city water has a good chance of winning their vote.

"Clean water, sparkling clean not brown," said Sandra Edmundson, resident. "When you fill up your bath tub or you fill up your sink, you have clear water."

Resident Willie Stokes said, "We can't wash our clothes or drink the water. Don't know why they won't straighten the water up. "

A bigger and better business community is also on the minds of many residents. They say Gautier doesn't have enough retail shops and restaurants. They want to elect someone committed to attracting more businesses.

Blancha Parker said she likes living in Gautier but often goes elsewhere to spend her money.

Parker said, "Anybody that decides to run, what qualities we do need as you look around the Gautier area we are limited with grocery store markets. We only have the mall."

"Getting new restaurants, something besides Mexican," said Edmundson. "I'm sorry but we need a decent restaurant to go eat at in Gautier. There's not one. Other than fast food and Mexican, that's about what we have."

Above all, residents want their next council member at-large to be a person of integrity.

Alonzo Nolan said, "[I] Just want a good man or woman to know what they're doing up there and do for the people."

Nash still had two years and nine months left on his term before his resignation. The qualifying deadline for the special election is November 10th.

Mayor Tommy Fortenberry said so far several people have picked up packets, but only one person has qualified. The mayor said if necessary there will be a runoff December 14th.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.