Next mayor has big plans for Pascagoula

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - When Robbie Maxwell decided to run for Pascagoula mayor, he thought he'd have to wait until the election to know the results.

"I never once considered that I might run unopposed. I'm very grateful for that," Maxwell said.  "It's just been, it's been unbelievable. I'm so happy and so humbled by this show of support from the voters of Pascagoula."

While candidates in other cities battle it out, Maxwell is planning his administration.  And he says he wants to continue a lot of the city's current projects.

"I think that the first thing I have to do is to learn a lot about the projects that are out there ongoing now," he said.  "What I'd like to do is take about five projects that are ongoing now, take those projects and bring them to fruition."

Maxwell said the city's push to develop the waterfront will stay at the top of his priority list.  The city recently released a master plan that mapped out a multi-use development on the riverbank.  Work has already begun, and Maxwell said his administration will continue that effort.

"The waterfront project excites me," he said.  "There are so many opportunities out there to make some changes in Pascagoula. I don't want this to be a little shipyard town. I don't want to leave it that way."

He also wants to find affordable housing opportunities.

"After the storm we lost an awful lot of people who moved up into the Hurley area and over into Mobile County," said Maxwell.  "Those are empty slabs down there that are no longer a tax base for the city, and we need to get those houses back."

He also hopes to increase marina space, and hopefully bring the battleship Ticonderoga back home to Pascagoula, where it was built.

"I can't think of anything better than to bring the Tico back here, under the right circumstances," he said.  "And I don't know what those circumstances are. But my thoughts are that it would be a nice attraction for Pascagoula."

Maxwell hopes the Ticonderoga is one of many projects that attract people to town.

"We no longer think anything about getting a car and driving to Biloxi or Gulfport for dinner, and I'm sure they feel the same way," he said.  "We want to bring some places to Pascagoula that would encourage them to come over and visit us for a change."

He also pledged that he would cooperation with other city officials across South Mississippi, to strengthen the region as a whole.

"I'll pledge my cooperation a hundred percent with the mayors and city council all across the coast," he said.  "I believe if it happens in Gulfport and it's good, it's good for Pascagoula.  If there's something that's good for Pascagoula, it's good for Gulfport."

He hopes his time as Mayor will make a big impact on Pascagoula.

"I am deeply grateful to the people of Pascagoula," said Maxwell.  "I'm going to work hard and I'm going to try everything I can to make this place a better place to live and to raise your families."

He can't wait.

"I believe that at the end of the day, joined together with the city council, we'll be able to do some wonderful things," he said.

Maxwell says even though he's unopposed, he's still campaigning until the election.

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