Trio Of Candidates Vying For Long Beach Alderman Seat

A trio of political novices want to take their ideas to Long Beach City Hall.

On Tuesday voters in Ward Five will go to the polls and select a new alderman.

There has been a lot of reshuffling at Long Beach City Hall lately.

Mayor Robert Bass resigned back in June.

When Billie Skellie became the new mayor last month that left his alderman seat open.

None of the three people looking to replace Skellie have ever held public office so WLOX news asked them about the issues that drew them into the race.

Ward five candidate Ginger Worth believes Long Beach isn't doing enough to introduce itself to the outside world. She thinks her background in public relations can help lure people into the city.

"I think that the way we market our city to bring other businesses here is important," said Worth.

"The way we market ourselves. The way we look. We need to upscale our downtown which is the heart of our city. Also I think there's some budget issues that we need to look into," she added.

When political newcomer Mark Lishen looks at the budget he sees a tax system that puts too much burden on the people who live and work here.

"We're taxing our best assets right out of the city, our young people and our youth and our businesses. If we don't do something to bring those in line. They're just going to continue to move out of town and we've got to do something to stop that," said Lishen.

With good schools and a good police department Jimmy Johnson says Long Beach has a lot be proud of. However, the city needs to do more to make the most of what it has.

"I think one of the things we need to look at is growth in our community and that is through the harbor," said Johnson. "Our harbor is problem the best asset we have as a small bedroom community. "

The election for the Ward Five alderman race will be this Tuesday.

If no one receives 51 percent of the vote there will be a runoff the following Tuesday.

Here's some information about the candidates.

Mark Lishen- Grew up in Long Beach * Married with two children* Partner in an architectural firm* Member of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Long Beach

Platform "is to support and seek smart-growth economic development for the city and preserve open space."

Ginger Worth - Long Beach resident for 24 years * Married with two children * Public Relations Manager for Memorial Hospital* Member of First Baptist Church in Long Beach.

Platform - has an "interest in recreation for our children, senior programs, improved parking for merchants, and bringing in new businesses."

Jimmy Johnson- Member First Baptist Church Long Beach * Rotary * Exchange Club * Director of Partnership for a Healthy Harrison County* Married to Sandra.

Platform - want to "continue support of city schools and provide police and fire departments with training and equipment they need."