Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Wayne Gouguet has announced his candidacy and released this statement.)
It has been an honor and pleasure to serve s Councilman of Precinct 5 the past four years. The challenges have been many but I believe we have been successful in placing the city on a positive path forward. I remain committed to conducting the business of the city in an ethical, business-like manner. Transparency has been crucial to our success. Decisions made openly are more likely based on sound logic and not politically driven.
City government exists for one reason only, to serve the taxpayer. A councilman has a fiduciary responsibility to oversee the spending of taxpayer funds wisely and to protect the interest of the citizens. My belief is government generally does not have a revenue problem but rather a spending problem. City government should be operated like our households, spending only what is collected.
When this council came into office, the city was struggling to meet its obligations. Cash reserves were low. This council has complied with state accounting standards by accumulating over $2 million of cash in reserve for that rainy day. Our completed annual budgets have been in the black, every year. We have assumed for budget purposes conservative sales tax revenue projections and at the same time controlled spending, which has served us well in balancing the budgets. State mandated annual financial audits during our term have been concluded early, each resulting in no significant corrective findings. The utility fund is in sound financial condition and is not being subsidized by the general fund.
This council reduced the cost of residential natural gas by 15 percent last year. We are moving toward to replace the deteriorated lines in the historic areas to reduce the quantity of unaccounted gas which has continued to plague the system for over a decade. We must diligently strive to reduce gas costs because of the tremendous burden it places on our seniors on fixed income.
I moved to Picayune 33 years ago soon after graduating from USM to begin a career in management at the Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant. I worked for 27 years there in the areas of environmental, utilities and economic development. I am now self-employed as a real-estate investor. My wife Marilyn and I are members of the First Baptist Church of Picayune.
I humbly ask for your support and vote in the Republican primary, May 7, 2013.