PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - For the first time in 40 years, an entirely new and diverse Pascagoula City Council was sworn in to office.
It was standing room only at the Pascagoula senior center as citizens, law enforcers and community leaders celebrated the new leaders of the city.
"According the John Quincy Adams, if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader," Judge Dale Harkey said.
After those inspiring words, the diverse team of political newcomers was eager to take the oath of office. Next up was business man turned mayor Jim Blevins and his family. Even though Mayor Blevins and the council have never held an elected public office, they still look at themselves as more than qualified to take on the city's challenges.
"From a race standpoint, from gender standpoint, and just professions, we bring dynamic and diverse life experiences," Councilman-At-Large Brenda Simkins said.
The council members won't have much time to celebrate. Tuesday is their first meeting, and they are ready to get to work.
"We know on top of the list is economic development. We are in the business of making jobs, finding jobs and building the economic side of our great city," said the mayor.
Fixing insurance woes, improving education, and better budget management are also on the list.
"We need to look at savings, we need to look at flexibility, and we need to look at how we can get the best return for our investment," said Mayor Blevins.
The mayor wants citizens' input throughout his term.
"We should do this as a team effort and not just look for city officials, to council to make this make this happen," Blevins said.
According to Pascagoula officials, 1973 was the last time the city had an entirely new council.