New year brings new Harrison County board
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - History was made in Harrison County on Monday. Not only did three new supervisors take the oath of office, for the first time ever, three of the five board members are women.
Beverly Martin, Angel Kibler-Middleton and Kent Jones are the three new faces on the board, joining incumbents Marlin Ladner and Connie Rockco.
"Very special. Had family come down from as far as Charlotte, Virginia, so we're very excited," said Kent Jones.
The new District 4 supervisor says basic services are on the minds of constituents.
"A lot of things was basically flooding, safe playgrounds, safe streets. Development. Economic development," he said.
Angel Kibler-Middleton got a bit emotional taking the oath. It's her passion for public service showing.
"I am very passionate and so thankful to be here," she said, "So it all just culminated, I had my hand on the Bible and it just overwhelmed me."
Her call to public service seemed a natural progression from community involvement.
"I've been just a regular citizen and I've always volunteered in my community and my church. And I just felt like it was time to step up and if you want to make changes, then you've got to sacrifice some of your time and step up and do it," said the new District 2 supervisor.
Beverly Martin not only attended her first meeting as supervisor, she was elected board president, taking the gavel, or in this case hammer, from outgoing president Connie Rockco.
"I just felt like it was time for a change, to be quite honest with you. And personally I had the time to do it and the energy. I really just felt like it was time to do something different," said Martin.
Veteran supervisor Rockco offered her new colleagues some advice.
"If you keep your heart and mind open and get both sides of the story, at all times, then everything will work out well," said Supervisor Rockco.
Not surprisingly, financial concerns are among the key issues facing the new supervisors. All three mentioned the county budget or spending when WLOX News talked with each one about the challenges facing Harrison County in 2016.
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