Ocean Springs Voters Discuss Issues - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/02/05

Ocean Springs Voters Discuss Issues

South Mississippi candidates have made their pitch. Soon the voters will decide who advances and who's out of the running.

Tuesday is decision day for dozens of city council and mayoral races.

WLOX News visited with voters in downtown Ocean Springs.

"And we get together every Monday and we paint," said one member of the Ocean Springs Art Association.

Wyatt Waters shared his technique and talents with association members.

"Things do change. Light changes. I change," said Waters, as he talked while leaning over his canvas.

We asked the aspiring artists to paint us a picture of what they look for in a candidate.

Grace Olmsted knows what she considers important.

"I look for honesty. Looking at you square in the eye when they talk. Good language. And friendliness in their appeal," she said.

"I think you need to be kind of strong. You need to be able to lead," said resident Mary Holem.

People who call Ocean Springs home appreciate the small town charm, the picturesque downtown and the somewhat laid back way of life.

"I've been here for 35 years. I was Canadian and I love it down here," said Joan Armstrong.

But Armstrong worries that unchecked progress could ruin the very things that attracted her here.

"Too rapid of growth in the area concerns me. There seem to be things going on at the beach very fast," she said.

Campaign issues are as diverse as the colors on Wyatt Waters' palette. Still, the voters we questioned mentioned some familiar concerns.

"I think they need to be concerned with education. I think public services such as police and fire," Olmsted explained.

"I guess good fiscal management. We need more recreation. And personally, I would love to see us someday vote for person instead of party," said Holem.

Results from Tuesday's primary will give these voters a better picture of who'll help lead this city for the next four years.

By Steve Phillips

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