A few thoughts about last night’s candidate forum

After catching myself up on last year’s Bay St Louis election forum I was reminded of the differences between the two communities in terms of the political environment. Waveland’s political scene is far more laid back with the various aldermen candidates agreeing with each other more than a few times. Even better from my standpoint on the panel was that every candidate that appeared for the forum last night was prepared and knowledgeable of the issues in the community, something that was not true last year in the Bay.

Geoff Belcher of the Sea Coast Echo and WLOX’s Doug Walker rounded out the panel and again we didn’t toss out any softies. Doug kicked off the Mayoral portion asking about the heart of Waveland being left out of the newly created opportunity zones. To the extent Waveland is still redeveloping from Hurricane Katrina I focused questions to both the Mayors and Aldermen about their visions for development on the Highway 90 corridor, including a tie vote Mayor Smith broke allowing live oaks to be cut. There was no such thing as a right or wrong answer to these questions. My goal, as it was last year, was to get the candidates to differentiate themselves on the issues and I think the panel accomplished that.

Here are the candidates that attended last night:

Ward 1 Alderman: Henry Tebbe (R), Jeremy Burke (I)
Ward 2 Alderman: Laronne Lewis (D)
Ward 3 Alderman: Shane Lafontaine (D)
Ward 4 Alderman: Charles Piazza (I), Sara Cure Clark (I)
Mayor: Mike Smith (D), Tommy Longo (I), Jay Trapani (I)

No Shows:
Ward 1 Candidate Jay Fountain, Ward 2 Alderman Bobby Richardson, Ward 3 Candidate Don Siebenkittel, Ward 4 Candidate Brice Phillips, Ward 4 Candidate Mark Kidd Continue reading “A few thoughts about last night’s candidate forum”