Several Pascagoula Candidates Speak At Forum

All seven candidates who spoke today are all running for various offices, but their messages seem to be the same.

Robert McIlrath says the city needs more buisness, and he wants to give potential business owners incentives for locating in Pascagoula.

"You recruit small businesses like you recruit a law enforcement officer right out of college. You've got to get the best people and you've got to give them a reason to come here,"Councilman at large candidate McIlrath says.

Phillip Gilbert says recruiting business is all about teamwork.

"Pascagoula, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, the county, and the chamber of commerce and let try to talk about economic development.Talk about getting a unified effort. Once we get them to Jackson County, let these companies and businesses decide where they want to locate,"Ward 1 Candidate Gilbert says.

Ernest Smith Junior says he wants to give Pascagoula a river front to be proud of by getting businesses to locate on the Eastbank near Northrop Grumman.

"You could have a boardwalk there with tables along the river, you got people who could come off the river on boats. You could have coffee shops, you could have diners, and a historic building showing how things were and where we're at today,"Ward 5 Candidate Smith says.

But for Lance Eubanks, moving Pascagoula forward is all about putting money in the right places.

"I believe that if we go back to the basics and focus on what we need to focus on and take the revenue that's taken from the city of Pascagoula and focus on putting that revenue back into the city. I believe we can grow from that and have more options available to us like the bigger cities have," Ward 5 Candidate Eubanks says.

However, some candidates, like Jared Burnside believe Pascagoula will be better off when city leaders are held accountable.

"The people want an accountable government. They want to know where their monies are going. If people have been disrespectful, they want to know if they've been disciplined. They want to have access to the answered they want," Mayor Candidate Burnside says.

Bill Jones agrees.

"I'm going to get another cell phone and it's going to be the city council phone. You won't talk to my wife. Unless it's off or I don't have a signal, then you'll get my voice mail. You won't get a switchboard, you'll get me," Councilman at large candidate Jones says.

Douglas Hopkins says if he's elected, he won't just take calls, he'll take matters into his own hands.

"If I'm elected councilman and we have another bad rain and I see a street with flooding in it and drains clogged up, I'm going to take a shovel and clean it out myself,"Ward 3 candidate Hopkins says.