The Gazette sent a list of nine questions to each alderman at large candidate for the Feb. 7 special election.
Below are items to consider when weighing the candidate profiles published in this issue of The Gazette.
• The submissions were published as received without any editing.
• The questionnaires did not contain a word limit for responses.
• The Gazette does not favor one candidate over the other.
Candidate: Bobby Cox
Education: Graduate of Ocean Springs High School - 1988, Graduate of Hinds Community College Barber School -1989
Home address: 3100 Eagle Point Rd., Ocean Springs, MS
Campaign web site: www.electbobbycox.com
Occupation/employer: Owner/Barber - Cox’s Barber Shops
1. Why are you running for office and what are your top priorities, if elected?
I am running for the position of Alderman At Large to be a voice for the people of Ocean Springs. I want to give back to the city I love by bringing honesty, integrity and accountability while being someone that is connected and accessible to the general public.
My top priority, if elected, will be to listen to the citizens of Ocean Springs to determine their concerns. Some of the top issues that have already come to my attention are: the needed completion of the sports complex on Highway 57, parking concerns downtown, and the proposed noise ordinance. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the mayor, the Board of Alderman, and the community to address these and other city priorities.
2. What strengths will you bring to the Board of Alderman that the current body lacks?
The current Board of Alderman and the Mayor represent the city well. I run my own business, and through my work I am able to listen to the concerns of people everyday. This allows me to relate to both the business community and the citizens of Ocean Springs when it comes to voting on issues. As a small business owner, I also have to manage my time wisely and maintain a budget, which are strengths for any organization.
3. In the last two years, what do you feel are the best three accomplishments of Ocean Springs Government? Conversely, what are the three things you would have done differently?
There have been many great accomplishments over the past few years in Ocean Springs. Three of the best in the past two years are the completion of a new Public Safety Building, Fire Department, and the soon to be completed Sports Complex. The city can be proud of these, and they will benefit the citizens of Ocean Springs for many years to come. All of which were done without raising property taxes!
As much as my family and I enjoy the improvements along the front beach area, I believe a different footprint for the sidewalk may have prevented some of the drainage issues and maintenance costs for the city. Secondly, I would have favored additional attention brought to the needed parking concerns of the city. Third, many improvements have been made to the downtown areas of the city. I hope that additional actions will be pursued to benefit the entire city.
4. How do you define yourself politically, and how does your political philosophy show itself in past achievements?
I am a conservative. I am an honest, hardworking family man, and I work with my wife to promote strong family values. Through hard work, I have been a successful businessman in Ocean Springs for the past 22 years. I have taken this same approach through volunteering my time in youth sports, church activities and school related functions. As my family taught me, I have always tried to treat people with respect, be honest and do the right thing in any situation. If elected, I will bring this same philosophy and approach to the Board of Alderman.
5. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect may cost you popularity points with voters?
The one issue that I have identified that I would take a stand on that could cost me some popularity votes is the noise ordinance in downtown Ocean Springs. I am willing to listen to both sides and I am aware that there needs to be a solution. I believe there needs to be a time to tune down the music out of respect for the residents in the downtown area so they can enjoy the quality of life that Ocean Springs has always promoted.
6. What will you do to educate and involve the community in city affairs?
Through my established rapport with the community, I will continue to create and maintain an accessible and engaging relationship with the citizens of Ocean Springs. With my approachable reputation and involvement with the community, I will encourage open communication and welcome involvement of constituents interested in city affairs.
7. How would you improve the ethical standards of city government?
I will work to improve ethical standards through transparency and accountability. City business should be conducted in an open forum as much as possible. I will look for competitive bidding and independent oversight in situations where it is feasible and practical.
8. Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us?
I have lived in Ocean Springs my entire life. My family is from here, I work here, and a lot of people know me. There are no surprises.
I am endorsed by family, friends and old and new businesses in the community. I welcome all support.