PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - When Pass Christian residents head to the polls in a week, they'll see two very familiar names on the ballot for mayor. Incumbent Mayor Chipper McDermott is campaigning for his third term. Meanwhile, long time Ward 2 alderman Joseph Piernas is trying to convince voters he is the right person to lead the city. Both candidates talked about their vision for the future of Pass Christian.
Piernas said his decision to run for mayor came largely from his desire to help Pass Christian's children.
"I would like to see us with more emphasis on our parks and recreation," said Piernas. "Getting our recreation going, getting our facilities back in place so our kids can play and participate in sports in Pass Christian."
Mayor Chipper McDermott said it hasn't been an easy road for the city since Hurricane Katrina. However, he's proud to say last month's sales tax collections reached pre-hurricane levels.
"The fact that we're back on our feet, that's one thing. We've got a lot of things going on," McDermott said. "We've got the new city hall, the police station. The harbor is down there. It's a big project down there, largest in the history of the city.
"So there's a lot of things that are going on good and it's going to be a small town always. We're going to have to find innovative ways to try to come back."
Both candidates said it will take creativity and teamwork for the city to continue to grow and progress.
"I plan on putting a visionary committee together. That's a group of citizens in town to basically let them brainstorm and strategize on what we want Pass Christian to look like five, ten, 20 years from now, without it being politically led," Piernas said. "Not any certain section of town, but throughout the whole community."
McDermott said, "That's why I'm running again to try to finish out projects. We're working desperately trying to get a hotel into town we've wanted for a long time. It's moving along."
On June 4th, voters will make the final decision.