Picayune's mayoral race heats up

PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - Voters in Picayune will elect a mayor and city council members Tuesday. For the top job, incumbent Mayor Ed Pinero faces former city councilman Mark Thorman.

Thorman says he's no politician. The retired Navy air traffic controller and high school ROTC instructor describes himself as a proactive, problem solving leader.

"I wanted to give the people of Picayune a choice for change," said Democratic Mayoral Candidate Mark Thorman.

One of the changes Thorman would like to make, if elected, would be to the pay checks of city employees.

"He was bragging about a $2.8 million surplus, and for the last five, maybe six years, the police department, fire department haven't gotten a raise. They're the heart of our city. They're our protectors and that needed to be handled a long time ago. As for the city employees, they haven't had a raise in over seven years and it's just unacceptable," explained Thorman.

"Actually, that's not the case," countered Mayor Ed Pinero. "The police department and the fire department have had budgeted raises that they did give some of the employees. What we're working on now is where we can give an across the board increase."

Mayor Pinero said he's running on his record. He says he needs four more years to finish the job he's started.

"We've paved all of the roads in the city, all of the roads. So what we want to do now is start marketing ourselves to manufacturers. What we need is more manufacturers. We have one. We've brought in 60 new retail businesses. We need to capture a few more manufacturing facilities for people to work," explained Pinero.

We'll find out what the voters have to say Tuesday. The polls open at 7am, and close at 7pm. WLOX News will have a special report on the results beginning at 9pm on television and online. We'll also have constant updates on WLOX.com and on our free news app for Apple and Android devices.

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