Long Beach Alderman Could Be Forced To Resign - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Long Beach Alderman Could Be Forced To Resign

Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything on the historic Boggsdale land, including the home of Ward 1 Alderman Charlie Boggs.

He has since bought a home in ward 4, a move that concerned the city's mayor and four aldermen so much so that they wrote a letter to Attorney General Jim Hood asking the criteria for a special election to replace Boggs.

"A person needs to try to be living within their ward, in a reasonable amount of time. I'm not saying that you have to be able to build your house back or buy a home, but you should try to establish within your ward," said Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie.

Mr. Boggs was unable to go on camera with us, but we did speak with him on the phone.

He says even though he has bought a home in a different ward, he is doing everything he can to rebuild on the historic Boggsdale land off Highway 90.

He has spent thousands of dollars, he says, removing the pilings and filling in the lot.

He says he's even begun preliminary drawings for his new home, but without sewer and water, there is little else he can do at this point.

"The attempt by the mayor and this board to remove Charlie has nothing to do with Charlie's qualifications to be within the ward. It's strictly political. Charlie does not agree with their political views," said Ward 2 Alderman Richard Notter.

Notter says since Boggs has leukemia, it is not feasible for him right now to even try living south of the tracks without proper sanitary services.

He believes this is becoming a game of "dirty politics." To that, the mayor says: 

"It's not a political ploy with me. I could care less. I mean, I don't have an ax to grind with him. We don't agree quite often on things, but it's not where I don't leave the room mad with him," said Mayor Skellie.

"To attack Mr. Boggs now, with so many other things going on, shows the city is not focused on what it needs to be focused on," said Notter.   

The Attorney General has provided an outline of what criteria needs to be met to warrant a special election. Mayor Skellie says it will be the board's decision to determine whether or not Boggs meets the criteria.

"My opinion is that Boggs has removed himself from ward one and by state law needs to remove himself from office. I think it's wrong for an alderman to serve out half to two-thirds of his term living outside his ward," says Ward 5 Alderman Mark Lishen.

Lishen expects this issue to come up for discussion at the next board meeting on September 5th.  

By Karla Redditte

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