Page 98 - South Mississippi Living - August, 2021
P. 98

             Meet the NEW Mayors! story by Lynn Lofton
photos courtesy of Mayors Rafferty, Knight, Holloway and Willis and by Katherine Swetman
As of July 1, new mayors have taken the reins of the cities of Pass Christian, Moss Point, Gautier, Ocean Springs and Pascagoula. As
these five new mayors settle into their duties, South Mississippi Living caught up with them with a few questions.
 Jimmy Rafferty
was born and raised in Pass Christian and continues a family tradition of public service. He has many years of experience in global human resources, and the industries of financial services, pharmaceuticals and aerospace and defense. His vision:
Pass Christian has always been one of the premier places to live and vacation on the Gulf Coast. We have parts of downtown that are still undeveloped 16 years after Hurricane Katrina.
I have started to get landowners, developers and realtors together to develop these areas, and in so doing expand our tax base without raising taxes, and then invest in other parts of town such as north of the railroad tracks where we have
elevation challenges.
The city’s main challenge:
Pass Christian is only six miles long and one mile wide and is shaped like a peninsula with water on three sides. As a result, a large part is in a flood zone and developing in these areas is expensive. A main objective is to find ways to develop the areas that are in flood zones.
Positive points:
The Pass has a very special ambiance. The pace is slower and the lifestyle is more relaxed. We have historic old homes, one of the finest harbors on the Coast, great restaurants and a beautiful beach. The people of all ethnic groups make it a special place to live, work and play.
Pass Christian Mayor Jimmy Rafferty
  98 | August 2021 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living
Billy Knight
retired with Singing River Electric Association and also served as executive director of the Community Action Association.
His vision:
I want to change the image and negative press of Moss Point, some of which is deserved and some undeserved. I want to improve public safety so people feel safe with more interaction between police and the community. I want to bring back recreation, which we haven’t had for a year, and get serious about economic development.
The city’s main challenge:
Economic development doesn’t happen over night; we need infrastructure and recruiting for businesses to come here.
Positive points:
The people are good and want leadership. We’re the only city on the Coast with access to four types of transportation that industries need. We have Interstate 10 and Highway 63, railroad, water
and an airport. I plan to reactivate the Moss Point Development Authority.
Moss Point Mayor Billy Knight

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