OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Dozens of candidates spoke Thursday night as to why they should be a part of the new administration to lead the City of Ocean Springs forward.
A public forum was held for candidates running for office in the Discovery City to talk about their platforms. While the forum gave the chance for several candidates vying for aldermen, it also gave Ocean Springs’ mayoral candidates the chance to sway voters.
For mayoral candidate Jeff Guice, it is about coming up with a long term plan.
“In order to grow our downtown area we really need to adopt a long term plan, with a lot of studies to find out which direction is the best way to grow our city,” said Guice.
His opponent Kenny Holloway loves downtown Ocean Springs, but is keen to get more businesses along Highway 90.
“What makes Ocean Springs special is the downtown area,” said Holloway. “We want to make sure that we keep the downtown area and charm the same. I think the major growth has got to be down Highway 90 and east Ocean Springs.”
Former Alderman Chic Cody believes it is about getting the right businesses interested in developing.
“All we need is to be able to attract businesses that will be able to complement what we already have in Ocean Springs,” said Cody. “The only problem that I see is some of that land has to be mitigated because it is in wetlands.”
Candidate Melanie Allen believes the key to future economic success is diversification.
“We look like we are just booming economically and, retail-wise, we are,” said Allen. “My plan is to diversify our economy, which would provide safety to the community. We need some light tech, light industry, we need to work with Jackson County so we can expand all the opportunities that the Sunplex offers for business.”
Candidate Summer Devrow believes removing any restrictions will allow businesses to flourish in the city.
“I unequivocally support all the local businesses in Ocean Springs, and I will do my best to remove all the restrictions and regulations that hinder them from operating at their best and optimal level,” said Devrow.
To see a complete list of all the candidates running for a position in Ocean Springs, click here. The primary election in Ocean Springs will be held on April 6. That will be followed by a runoff election on April 27 and a general election on June 8.