WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The process of determining who will be the next mayor of Waveland is now officially underway. On Wednesday, candidates could begin qualifying to run for mayor and for a spot on the board of aldermen.
Some Waveland residents told us poor street conditions and the lack of recreational activities will be some of the issues they'll have in mind as they head to the polls. Business owners said they want to see candidates with platforms that call for taking a more proactive approach to encouraging economic development.
Robby Arrowsmith runs a bar and grill that is one of three businesses on Coleman Avenue. He said he knows that's a far cry from the good old days on the Waveland street.
"At one time this was the heartbeat of Waveland," said Arrowsmith. "If you wanted something, you went to Coleman. Now, you ask some of the younger people about Coleman Avenue and they're like, 'where is that at.' They don't even know where it's at anymore. It's completely dropped off the map."
Some Waveland business owners said it's not just Coleman Avenue that's struggling. They said whomever residents elect as mayor and aldermen should find ways to encourage more economic development to come into the city. Ronnie Daugherty owns a restaurant on Highway 90.
"If you give people tax incentives to come here, big businesses will come, and big business helps little business. The more attraction you can get the better we are," said Daugherty. "The more population you get here the better we're going to grow. Give them tax incentives to offset building."
Without some way to offset building and insurance costs, small business owners said it will be hard to convince people to open businesses or move to Waveland.
"The most pressing issues here is population. The population is struggling. It's a small town, and there's no revenue generated here," said Daugherty. "It used to be known as the second home town. People from all over the country built their homes here."
"Do something to entice people to come back to this area, because the insurance is through the roof," said Arrowsmith. "Everything is sky high to rebuild here on Coleman."
Waveland will hold the primary election November 4, and a general election on December 2.