MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - The shock waves are still being felt in Moss Point after former Moss Point Mayor Mario King pleaded guilty to a federal charge and resigned. However, with Interim Mayor Robert Byrd in charge, the city has no choice but to move forward with the good and the bad.
Byrd’s first full day as interim mayor is not a tour of the city’s best side. Dumps like the one in East Moss Point is the most important thing on his mind.
“When you’re trying to attract businesses, they just don’t go to the places you show them,” said Byrd. “They want to see what’s happening on the back side, on the front side and all the sides. Most cities have problems and the problem in Moss Point, is mostly this.”
His way of moving the city past the nightmare it’s been through with the guilty plea of former Mayor King, is to get back to basics for businesses and residents by cleaning up the image in more ways than one.
“This changes the attitude,” Byrd said. “Once you clean the place up, it changes the attitude of the citizens. So, once that gets changed, everything else can move forward.”
And Byrd is finding out that some already are.
For Brelan Booker at One Stop Grill, the incident with the mayor is tough, but the future is bright as a business operator and resident.
“I mean, it’s an embarrassment for the city,” said Byrd. “But, things happen and you have to take the blow and adjust. Just move forward. I mean, it’s not going to change overnight, but your first step forward is probably going to be the best.”
Pascagoula native Steven Romero has just opened his new State Farm Agency near downtown Moss Point, and he couldn’t be happier.
“I just wanted to be back home,” said Romero. “Back in Jackson County where I’m from and where I know a lot of people and just help bring business and industry back to the area.”
At the same time, Romero and many others, are still assessing the after-effect of the last 24 hours.
“Yeah, definitely shock is the first thing that comes to mind and then sadness about the whole situation,” said Romero. “I just hope that we as a community can heal and grief and then move forward.”