City has amassed an awesome team

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2014

Teams are incredible things. It takes teamwork to make the dream work.

I am blessed to work for an awesome mayor and council, and with staff and employees who love this city we call Picayune.  I believe the test of a good leader is taking the vision from me to we, The Team!  We have assembled a great team and are committed to an unceasing drive to change, improve, and renew ourselves.  We believe the citizens of Picayune we serve are number one. Our leadership at city hall has a strong set of core values, accountability, fiscal responsibility, transparency, integrity and compassion.  In the spirit of City Hall the concept is there is no finish line, and never be completely satisfied.  Also we will not dwell on how well we have done today, but how well we can do for the community we serve tomorrow?  With our winning team we are putting Picayune on the map!  Now I would like to introduce you to some of our award winning team members and accomplishments…..

One of the most recent projects we are working on with the help of the community is the green space on Goodyear Boulevard (old Crosby Hospital site).  Dungan Engineering and Special Projects/Grant Administrator, Christy Goss have been working hard on developing conceptual drawings, writing grants, gathering ideas for development of the space from the public, researching what are the do’s and don’ts from other cities and trying to make the mayor and council’s vision for this space become a reality.  Recently the city has been awarded $400,000 from a Mississippi Department of Transportation grant.  In the future we will be able to sit on benches under the oak trees, read a history marker about Picayune’s past or walk around a walking track.

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I would like to introduce the newest addition to our Team, Parks and Recreation Director Heath Stevens.  Heath grew up playing ball at Friendship Park and is working hard on bringing the park to meet its full potential.  Heath has received his degree in tourism from the University of Southern Mississippi.  With his experience in baseball and tourism Heath has been able to put together a 91 team baseball tournament recently for the city of Picayune called the Firecracker Classic.  The hotels and restaurants were full that weekend with out of town visitors.  We feel that this will be the first of many ball tournaments that will happen this summer at Friendship Park.

Harvey Miller, Director of Operations and Economic Development, is busy everyday showing property to potential businesses and talking with existing businesses about expansion.  Two businesses at the Industrial Park have already expanded this past year.

Amber Hinton, City Clerk, has been working diligently for several years with her finance team to ensure fiscal responsibility for our city.  The results are paying off.  The city has received an outstanding audit report for the past three years and was praised by the state auditor for establishing emergency reserve funds.  Amber has done an exceptional job building a new city website.  We have received many calls praising how easy it is to locate information on our new website.

I would like to close today by expressing my deepest gratitude for our community’s support.  Our team has accomplished many achievements however, I believe the best is yet to come!

By Jim Luke