D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - The longest-serving mayor on the coast has decided this term will be his last.
D'Iberville Mayor Rusty Quave surprised many as he announced at Wednesday morning's State of the City Address that he will not run for an eighth term in 2021. He was first elected in 1993.
"This is gonna be my last term as mayor," Quave said as he addressed the crowd at the Scarlet Pearl Resort and Casino. "I'm gonna go out after 28 years. I was told by political experts not to make this announcement. I feel like I've got to let people know that I'm leaving."
That will be later down the road. During the address, Quave said right now special things are happening, including a continued spot among the state's top 20 cities in sales tax generation.
"We're third in the Gulf Coast out of 11 cities," he added. "We're 17th in the state of Mississippi for sales tax generated out of 32 cities."
This year, D'Iberville celebrates its 30th anniversary as an incorporated community.
"A lot of the new growth came because of Hurricane Katrina, when all of the businesses had to move off of Highway 90 and the Coast," Quave said. "They couldn't relocate, so we went after it, and that's one thing you have to do as a city, they just don't come knocking on your door. You go after them and you bring them in."
Over the last 25 years, D'Iberville has seen unprecedented retail growth with Walmart, Lowe's, Target, two luxury auto dealerships, and the entire Promenade Shopping Center. The city welcomed its first casino, the Scarlet Pearl, in 2015.
That proactive approach to projects also includes the Lamey Bridge Road and Popps Ferry Road connector, which is currently under construction, the recent opening of the Rusty Quave Sportsplex and plans for a new public safety complex at the old Rudy Moran fields.
One project that's on hold is the Galleria, which was supposed to be built south of the Promenade shopping area.
"They're still negotiating that deal and it might not come in as quite as big a project, but it will come in around 200 million dollars, and hopefully we've got some contracts signed in the next 60-90 days," he added.