Moss Point Residents Petition for a City Manager
Twelve hundred signatures, that’s the goal for Moss Point residents eager to change the city’s form of government.
News 25’s Kendra Turley gives us a closer look at the petition residents organized to shift the River City to a city manager format.
Only seven cities within the state of Mississippi operate on a city manager form of government. Five of those are in the coastal area. Moss Point resident Martha Watjus said, “The complexities of government these days with finances, with contracts, with technology. We need a professional running, that’s my strong opinion.”
Dozens gathered at the Rotary Club to hear more about why residents are interested in shifting the City of Moss Point to a city manager format.
Watjus and Board of Alderman Wayne Lennep facilitated the meeting, informing residents on the petition process and the differences between the two forms of governments. “No matter what form of government you have, if you don’t have participation from the electorate, you’re not going to be successful. In our last municipal elections, we had about 20 percent, maybe a little better turn out in most wards,” said Lennep.
Nearly 1,200 signatures are needed for residents to vote on the matter. Once those signatures are collected, the city clerk will verify each one before the matter is placed on a ballot. “When people sign this, they’re not saying necessarily they agree with it, but they think that the voters ought to have the choice. That’s what we want right at this point,” said Watjus.
Residents plan to have petitions available at businesses and popular spots throughout the city. The group set a short term goal to gain as many signatures as possible by the end of the month, hoping to have the entire process complete before the end of the year.