Katrina Forces Pass Christian Alderman To Resign

Donald Moore submitted his resignation letter to the city of Pass Christian on Friday. In it, he said he hated to quit with the city so beat up by Katrina.

A sign of that devastation was right outside the home where Moore lived before the hurricane. His Timber Ridge neighborhood had downed trees, debris piles, and flood waters covering the subdivision. It was cruel reminder of the horrific August hurricane.

"Like everybody else, or the majority of the people, I lost my home," Moore said. "I'm displaced. I've got children that are going to school in Slidell. My wife is in Slidell. I'm living in Slidell with in laws."

And everyday since Katrina, Moore has commuted between Slidell and his Gulfport law office. And that left him very little time for his part-time responsibility in Pass Christian. As a city aldermen, Moore did what he could to help his constituents recover.

"I haven't hardly slept since the storm," he said.

But he finally realized, he didn't have the time or the strength to be an effective leader.

"I didn't want to betray them," the former ward four alderman said. "But after thinking about it for a long time, I thought the bigger betrayal was staying in the office when I can't devote all of my time, or all the time that needs to be devoted to the job."

Moore had a second dilemma. Katrina dumped 11 feet of water inside his home. Everything had to be gutted. And on top of that, his family didn't want to return to Timber Ridge. So Moore sold his home on Royal Oak. And he bought a home under construction in east Pass Christian. Which meant Moore no longer had a ward four address.

In his mind, he couldn't represent Timber Ridge residents at board of aldermen meetings. So on Friday, he resigned.

"I hope people understand, I know a lot of people won't, they're going to be angry that I'm leaving them, that I've sort of given up on the neighborhood. I haven't," he said. "We love Pass Christian. And I think Pass Christian will rebound. It's going to be awhile. But again, I've got to put my family first."

Pass Christian must hold a special election to fill the vacant ward four alderman's seat. However, there are dozens of displaced residents in that ward. So the city is looking into what it will take to hold the election.