Long Beach Mayor Announces Surprising Resignation

Long Beach Mayor Robert Bass is stepping down. He dropped that bombshell at the board of aldermen meeting Tuesday night. Bass told city leaders that he is resigning, effective June 30th, to take a new job in Jackson.

Mayor Bass announced his resignation at the regular meeting of the Long Beach Board of Aldermen Tuesday night.

Mayor Bass read a letter announcing that he is stepping down to take a job as executive director of the state personnel board.

"With mixed feelings of sadness and anticipation, I'm hereby submitting my resignation as the Mayor of Long Beach effective the close of business on June 30, 2004," Mayor Robert Bass said.

The news caught many people off guard.

"It can't be happening. He's been wonderful. He's helped the city out of a lot of problems. He's just been a very caring person. I just hate to see him go," Long Beach resident Nellie Abadie said.

"It was quite a surprise. I didn't know that there was something afoot for him moving on. I expected him to serve out his term," Long Beach resident Joe Fleming said.

But the mayor says he had to leave a year early to take advantage of a new challenge.

"I was going to be leaving on June 30, 2005, no matter what. I knew it was going to be time to move on from the Mayor's office. This is a great opportunity for me to be able to continue in public service and in another role".

Several aldermen praised the mayor's seven years of service in Long Beach.

"I feel like in many, many cases, you've been able to bring some continuity to the board when there was trouble and problems and I appreciate that," council member Billy Skellie said.

"I appreciate him. He's been a good mayor in my opinion," council member Joseph McNary said.

Mayor Bass says although he will be moving to Jackson, his heart will always be in Long Beach.

"It's my hometown. I feel very honored to have been able to serve as mayor, and we're always going to maintain that connection between family and friends and sheer home blood".

The city of Long Beach will hold a special election before August 15th. The person elected will fulfill the remaining year of Mayor Bass' term.

Starting July 1st, Alderman at Large Allen Holder will serve as acting mayor.

By: Trang Pham-Bui