GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - With only nine days left to convince Gautier voters to support a two percent sales tax to pay for recreational improvements, Gautier's mayor said he has a good feeling about the outcome.
On August 27, voters will say "yay" or "nay" to a tax on hotels and restaurants that would pay for upgrades to facilities at city parks. Mayor Gordon Gollott said everything from brochures to town hall meetings are being used to secure that 60 percent approval the city needs.
Bacot Park is one of the parks Gautier plans to improve. It's a place children will soon be kicking, punting and tackling.
Pee Wee player Lakeston Webb said, "I like football because I get to tackle people. And it's just football. I just like it."
During registration youth football and cheerleader, Gautier officials took the time to tell parents about improvement the city wants to make to recreational facilities.
"I think it will be better for the kids to say, 'Hey we want to play in Gautier instead of going over to other places,'" said Jamie Smith, a parent. "I know the past couple of seasons the sign ups and the attendance for the seasons has been lower because kids have been going to other cities because they had better facilities."
Some parents said they plan to become cheerleaders for the two percent hotel and restaurant tax.
"I've just been trying to promote them to say yes for the two percent tax increase to help the kids out and the rec department," said parent Salento Hudson. "Any time you can help kids is always a plus for the community.
Angela Patterson's son is also plays sports. "I want everybody to come out. I want everyone to come out and vote on August 27. It's a great opportunity and I'm going to be out to promote these opportunities."
Some parents said keeping kids on the field helps keep them out of trouble.
Jerry Quinn said, "I support it because I support these children. You know we have kids out here that's getting lost to these streets. I think that anything. I think anything having to do with recreation. We need to all get behind it and support it."
Town hall meetings on the proposed sales tax are scheduled for Monday at Hickory Hills Golf Club, Wednesday at City Hall, and Thursday at the Senior Center. All the meetings start at 6 p.m. City officials said Gautier has a population of about 18,000 people.