WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Waveland residents will go to the polls next Tuesday to elect the leaders that will be put in charge of moving the city forward over the next four years. There are seven candidates vying for the mayor's post.
At a political forum Tuesday evening, each of those candidates explained to Waveland residents why they would be the best man for the job.
Nearly 90 people packed Waveland City Hall, eager to hear from the candidates who have a passion to take the city to a new level.
"I'm ready for this commitment. I've committed 27 years of my life to the City of Waveland, and that's a big word, commitment," said Democrat Mike Smith.
"We must continue with cleaning our city of blighted property. We must continue to improve our streets and drainage," Republican Jay Trapani told the crowd.
With incumbent Mayor David Garcia stepping down, the race to fill his seat is crowded.
Six democrats and one republican will be on Waveland primary ballots next Tuesday.
"In order to sell Waveland, we need to bring businesses to our city first to have them want to come here," said Democrat Santo Saucier.
"We have to make it attractive in order for someone to want to come here. You can drive the streets of Waveland right now and ask yourself a general question," Democrat Joel Wallace, Sr.
The candidates at this forum all realize Waveland is a city still in the midst of a post-Katrina recovery, and its budget is tight. The forum gave the mayoral hopefuls a chance to explain how they'd like to see Waveland heal.
"Coleman Avenue will not survive without something down here to anchor it," explained Democrat Brent Anderson.
"We cannot sit back and wait for other people in the county to help Waveland. Waveland needs to help Waveland," Democrat Mark Kidd said.
"We're next door to New Orleans, which is booming with tourism and conventions. We should have a representative marketing our city at those conventions," explained Democrat James Casey.
Waveland's Democratic Executive Committee hosted the forum. The primary election is Nov. 4.
Candidate Nick Saucier was unable to attend the forum.
The committee reminded Waveland residents they will cast ballots next Tuesday in two different locations. All city elections will be held at Waveland City Hall on Coleman Avenue. Residents will vote in congressional and all other races at their normal voting precincts.