South Mississippi mayors partner to improve their cities

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Mayors from across South Mississippi gathered Wednesday to discuss ways improve their cities and better serve the people who elected them.

"I think it very worthwhile for all the mayors of the six counties know each other," Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran said.

The mayors bounced ideas of each other on how to lead effectively and successfully. Gautier's Mayor Gordon Gollott talked about being transparent with citizens.

"You just have to make sure you are communicating the right message to everyone," Mayor Gollott said.

Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes shared a new concept that focuses developing a partnership with these leaders to promote regional interests. It's called One Coast.

"The One Coast is just a mindset that we are trying to promote that what benefits one community, benefits us all. We are going to be champions to bring business and economic development in our own community. But if there is something we can't get here, we certainly want it to go to a sister community," Hewes said.

Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran sees the benefits of working together, especially when lobbying for change in the state legislature.

"Things like insurance rates come to mind, land use, public transit, economic development efforts," Moran said.

Poplarville Mayor Brad Necaise agrees. He also made some great connections and got some help solving major road headaches in the city.

"One of the biggest issues that we are dealing with in Poplarville is streets and roads. Certainly, this is problem for all municipalities as funding and economics are tough. So, it is great to meet with other mayors who have the same issues and offer innovative ideas," said Necaise.

Pascagoula Mayor Jim Blevins helped sponsor the meeting. He hopes the mayors can meet three to four times a year to become more of a united voice.

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