Pascagoula First

:
A Blueprint for Tomorrow Today

Published by the Frank Corder for Mayor Campaign 2013
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INTRODUCTION

It has been my honor and highest privilege to serve the people of Pascagoula as a City Councilman. Each day my passion is to make our City a better place to live, work, worship and play. I have diligently sought to engage the community by always being available and accessible. My goal continues to be for everyone to “Think Pascagoula First” - to shop, invest, live, buy, and dine right here in Pascagoula. I am proud of Pascagoula and proud to call it home from my birth. My family chose to invest ourselves in this City, to raise our family here and to seek to lead, or follow where necessary, to move Pascagoula from good to great. I am proud that I invested myself in this City at an early age, not waiting until I retired to try and make a difference. Admittedly, being involved in public service has been a struggle at times but the opportunity to serve the great people of this City is something I will always cherish and I hope to be able to continue as our next Mayor. Pascagoula is at a tipping point. Much has been accomplished as we redevelop and revitalize our great City, and I am proud to have been a part of leading the way on many of the projects currently underway, but there's still much more to be done. We must have a vision that is acted upon now! Pascagoula needs a Mayor who has experience in City government, who knows how City government works, one who knows the ropes and how to lead a City not only in the good times but in those difficult times ahead. We need someone at the helm who has cultivated the necessary relationships at the state and federal levels to help Pascagoula, who doesn’t shoot from the hip, and who has an undying passion and vision that can be translated into action for the betterment of every citizen and business, not just a select few. The next City Council could see a significant turnover. Having an experienced, knowledgeable Mayor will be vital. Our campaign offers the only candidate that can effectively lead on day one, who has a plan for the people of Pascagoula to understand and who will see it accomplished.
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Pascagoula deserves a Mayor whose only agenda is to see the City prosper, who will be a cheerleader when appropriate but ready to take a stand for sound, principled governance when necessary; someone that will lead from the front while understanding that he is ultimately only a servant of the people. We need a Mayor who will be open with the public when facing challenges, taking the time to explain what is happening and why, ever ready with a path forward. For all these reasons and more I have decided to run for Mayor of Pascagoula this spring, 2013. I have spent many hours listening to you, your neighbors and friends. Herein contained is a blueprint for Pascagoula based on those conversations, a vision for tomorrow today. This is our action plan for the next four years. This is what we will pursue for the City and I will lead with these ideals in mind. Please take a few minutes to consider this vision. Feel free to offer up your thoughts as well; after all, it is only through open dialogue and communication that Pascagoula will thrive. I humbly ask for your support, assistance, and vote as we strive together to make this vision a reality. Think Pascagoula First! Sincerely, Frank Corder Candidate for Mayor City Councilman (Ward 4)

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POLICY OUTLOOK

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Strengthen and revitalize neighborhoods
Encouraging homeownership is the key to strengthen and revitalize Pascagoula’s neighborhoods. When a family owns a home, better care and maintenance is practiced to ensure the property retains its aesthetic and monetary value. Homeowners are also more engaged in their communities, schools, churches and local government, all areas that make for a more cohesive city. The City must provide an environment that welcomes new home construction and rehabilitations. Permitting and inspections should be easily achieved and well understood. A dedicated staffer must hold the hand of these residents. Fees should be kept at a minimum and incentive programs for new construction and significant rehabilitation should be considered as fiscally possible. Community leaders must encourage neighborhoods to get acquainted and form coalitions to advance their area in a positive manner. Neighborhood meetings and projects should be nurtured and encouraged by the City, seeking to unite neighbors and create a better, more amiable sense of community.

Offer the best possible constituent services
The primary role of municipal government is to carry out policies and laws as well as to provide municipal services such as garbage collection, water and sewer utilities, police and fire protection and the like. Local governments are funded and exercised by the people within the municipality. As such, the best possible constituent services should be delivered to the people at the lowest cost. The City Council and the staff of the City must be business friendly and think customer service just as in a local business. Every department must exude a constituent focused attitude, creating an environment where people and businesses want to locate and where answers can be found with a smile and a willingness to help.
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Provide safe streets and walkable neighborhoods
One of the many things that make communities feel like home are safe streets and walkable neighborhoods. People want to know that their travels, whether in their vehicles, on their bicycles or on foot, are safe and easily undertaken. City streets must be maintained, free of potholes, surfaced appropriately and at times milled and relayed. Neighborhood streets are just as important as major thoroughfares. The City Council adopted a Complete Streets initiative, meaning that streets when redeveloped must also provide sidewalks and other amenities. Sidewalks and bike paths make it safer for our children and elderly, while also encouraging healthy lifestyles and contributing to the City’s recreation offerings.

Promote citywide beautification
Pascagoula is poised for progress but we must put our best face forward as a City, individuals and businesses. Visitors to our city must see the beauty of our community, not litter or blighted properties. First impressions matter. That is why we will implement a Mayor’s First Impressions Task Force. This group of volunteers will work alongside Code Enforcement to solve our aesthetic challenges and urge residents to take pride in Pascagoula. We must have pride in our community and demand better from ourselves and our neighbors. We must aggressively combat these challenges and continue to partner with Pascagoula Pride and other organizations seeking to beautify our city.

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Support, attract and retain local businesses of every size
The Pascagoula area has a long, proud tradition of being Mississippi’s leading industrial county. We celebrate our private industries and must continue to explore ways to partner with them, not demonize their enterprises. The jobs and opportunities these industries provide are vitally important and we must cultivate them and seek others to buoy our economy. A healthy community must also offer a variety of small businesses, retail and service providers, from mom and pop shops to recognized chains. Growing and supporting our small businesses is a must if our community is going to attract new residents and similar businesses. We must continue to offer local tax abatements and other incentive plans to encourage businesses to locate here, to redevelop properties and to hire local workers. City government must convey the need to support local businesses to enhance our demographic numbers so new businesses can see the merit in joining our community. We must all Think Pascagoula First if we want more retail and dining options. The City must offer a quarterly business roundtable hosted by the Mayor and City Council so innovative ideas can be bantered about and explored. It is only through open dialogue that the City can both understand and better support local business and industry. In addition, the City must provide a thorough Doing Business in Pascagoula kit as a guide for start-ups along with a dedicated point of contact that can hold the hand of entrepreneurs and business executives. Pascagoula must have a welcoming attitude and a pro-active outreach program.

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Enhance recreational opportunities for all ages
The recreational opportunities in Pascagoula are varied and accommodate all ages, but we must enhance these programs and facilities to better serve our community. We must take better advantage of our natural resources while incorporating our heritage. The City Council recently adopted a Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Contained therein is a path forward that seeks to redevelop youth facilities such as baseball and softball, complete facilities with lighting and parking such as at the soccer complex, and provide opportunities to consolidate properties in an effort to reduce expenditures and place some properties back on the tax rolls. Other facilities and recreational opportunities must be considered, such as a performing arts center, sportsplex, natatorium, and outdoor venues. The Point must be completed in a manner that best accommodates our local fishermen while providing areas for other community events. The Beachfront Promenade project must be completed to enhance walker safety and protect the area. We must continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to finalize the beach project in a manner that is both safe and aesthetically pleasing. The Lighthouse and historic pathway project must be completed and promoted as a new attraction on the Coast. These are just a few of the many prospects. Adult sport and game leagues are another area where our local recreation efforts can be expanded. Pascagoula is also blessed to have an active senior program. The Senior Center is providing a tremendous service to our community and to our seniors through exercise, pottery, dance, games and more. Maintaining and expanding this service is important as we continue to welcome retirees to our community. An active parks and recreation program is a necessity to a growing, vibrant community and the City Council must balance the need to provide these services with fiscal realities.
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Preserve a strong, well trained Police and Fire Department
Pascagoula’s first responders are arguably the best in the state and we must preserve a strong, well trained Police and Fire Department as we focus on a healthy community. The City Council must ensure that these departments are well funded and well trained. We must invest in them for the safety of us all. We must also ensure coordination between other agencies and seek ways to involve the public in safe practices and neighborhood watch. Pascagoula must be a community that values the law and those entrusted to uphold and defend it.

Ensure disaster preparedness
Every Pascagoula citizens knows full well the effects of natural and manmade disasters having experienced the impact of hurricanes and oil spills in recent years. Our city must be prepared for such unexpected disasters in terms of healthy reserve funds, manpower, disaster plans and contracts, and in its relationship with county, state and federal agencies. Having a Mayor who can lead in these areas on day one is critical. Pascagoula cannot afford on the job training in such times of trial. Experience and training matter when it comes to leading during disasters.

Celebrate our heritage
Pascagoula truly is Mississippi’s Flagship City. The Mayor and City Council must tell our story and promote our heritage and history. Our maritime traditions are strong and the achievements by our citizens, both past and present, should be celebrated. We are Pascagoula and we must be proud of it.

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Engage local communities of faith
Healthy communities have strong, engaged and active communities of faith. Pascagoula is blessed with many churches and outreach organizations seeking to mend hearts and lives. As a City, we must engage these local communities of faith and partner with them to meet challenges within our area for it is faith that can feed the soul while setting a new course for those who may need a hand up to become productive members of society. A bi-annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast would be a good place to start the dialogue with ministers from all faiths who are willing to explore ways to transform lives and make a difference in Pascagoula.

Continue to upgrade infrastructure
A city and its residents run on infrastructure. It is imperative that the City Council understand the importance of continuing to upgrade, enhance and replace water, sewer, and gas lines as well as streets, curbs, gutters and other fundamental infrastructure. Taxpayers expect their investment to be implemented with quality work and in a timely manner and the City must ensure its work and the work of those contracted meet the expectations of our residents. Also, the City Council has and must continue to provide clean, safe drinking water and protect the means of distribution. This is essential to a healthy community day in and day out as well as during times of disaster.

Consolidate municipal properties as appropriate
An assessment must be done to determine which city properties are essential and which can be consolidated and placed back on the tax rolls. Reducing our operating needs and our citizens’ fiscal burden while continuing to provide the best possible constituent services is one way to stretch our tax dollars further.
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Maintain conservative fiscal sanity
We must control spending while investing in our future. Such is the essence of conservative fiscal sanity. You live within your means, you maintain healthy reserves in case of emergencies and you seek to cut expenses where appropriate. We must plan not only for the here and now, but for tomorrow, for the next generation. We must leave a healthy fiscal legacy for our children and grandchildren. Pascagoula residents have not experienced a local millage (tax) increase in a number of years and we must not increase it during these tough economic times. In fact, the City Council must seek ways to lower the millage rate over time, reducing the burden on us all. The Mayor must also share these concerns with other local taxing agencies such as the County and School District. City leaders must understand that grants are still tax dollars and if you live on grants, you will die because of grants. There are always strings attached; we must make sure those strings aren't suffocating us long term. While the City is presently in good financial condition, we are transferring funds annually to cover budgetary shortfalls between accounts. We must stop this and allow each fund to stand alone with directed cuts and consistent management. The City Council has taken the steps to do such and the plan must be continued to achieve this goal. Further, it is imperative that the Mayor and City Council look for and obtain the best possible rate of return on the taxpayers’ investment. Such actions must transcend political and personal preferences and be centered on what is best for the general welfare of the City. All of this will take an honest, open conversation between the Mayor, City Council and the public. Tough decisions must be made and that require straight talk.

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Cultivate tourism through marketing
Our community offers a wealth of history and opportunities for family fun; we are a hidden jewel that the Mayor and City Council must uncover and promote. Our natural resources, heritage sites, industrial history, and more can and should translate into tourism dollars for our area. We must cultivate, develop and promote ourselves seeking to welcome Coast tourists, inviting them to experience Pascagoula and share in our great community.

Nurture the arts, festivals, and our creative community
Pascagoula has a number of annual festivals that draw thousands to our community, creating business opportunities and showcasing what we have to offer. From the Live Oak Festival to Downtown for the Holidays to parades and other events, Pascagoula is an emerging community for those who seek quality time with friends and family while finding a bargain. The City must continue to support these festivals while encouraging others. The City has developed Arts on the Avenue which has quickly become a great place to nurture our creative community. Our painters, potters, photographers and poets now have a place to display their work while also offering a place to train others. We must continue to promote and encourage the arts in Pascagoula and find new ways to cultivate local creativity. We must also explore the movie industry through the state’s film office and find ways to tap into these emerging opportunities.

Hold public forums around the city to engage citizens
One important way to create and retain an open dialogue between elected officials and the public is to hold public forums. The Mayor should be holding annual State of the City addresses for the general public as well as hosting ward meetings with City Councilmen seeking to listen and engage with residents.
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Coordinate with County, State and Federal officials
As the county seat, Pascagoula is the local governmental hub. Having a Mayor who has cultivated the necessary relationships and who knows the players in local, state, and federal government is a must if our City is to be properly represented and considered. The Mayor and City Council must represent the public’s interests whenever appropriate and reasonable, whether locally, across the Coast, in Jackson or in the nation’s capital.

Work alongside our local school system, hospital, non-profits and other community assets
The Mayor and City Council must be able to effectively work alongside our local school officials, hospital, non-profits and other community assets. It is important that municipalities cross promote and celebrate the successes of its community partners while also being engaged in their endeavors.

Ensure limited, principled governance in policymaking
You know how to govern your life and business better than City Hall. We need sound, principled governance, not more government. Freedom erodes slowly when government is left unchecked. Pascagoula needs a Mayor who will lead with this in mind while seeking reforms at the local, state, and national levels that enrich our liberties. Less state and federal intrusion on your lives and better coordination on measures potentially impacting you here locally is a must.

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Involve local youth
The youth in Pascagoula must have a seat at the table when discussing our city’s future. A Mayor’s Youth Council should be formed to mentor local youth, involve them in decision making and help them understand the role municipal government plays in their lives. If Pascagoula is to grow and retain citizens we must begin with our youth, for it is the youth of today that will lead our city tomorrow, who will be the taxpayers and business leaders. Involving our youth now will pay dividends for generations to come.

Always be available and accessible
It is important that a Mayor be available and accessible to the people he represents. Holding public forums, providing phone number and email, employing social media and sending weekly email updates are all ways to stay in touch with the community. The most important way to be engaged in the community is through participation in the community – attending school functions, participating in youth sporting events, and being involved in a local church, among other things. A Mayor should be in the community, supporting its citizens.

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GOVERNING OBJECTIVES

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I will lead the City to accomplish these goals over the next four years. I will have an open dialogue with the citizens along the way, letting you know the path forward and the challenges we face.
   Ensure the Riverfront and Lowry Island developments break ground Revitalize blighted properties such as the old Belair Shopping Center Place a renewed emphasis on the Highway 90, Market Street, Ingalls Avenue, Chicot Street and Downtown corridors, to include business development and aesthetics Implement new retail and residential incentive plans Form a Mayor’s First Impressions Task Force aimed at tackling citywide beautification Seek to remedy the hardship on citizens and businesses caused by trains during rush hours Continue the emphasis on infrastructure upgrades Maintain transparency and good ethics in government Pro-actively recruit new economic development opportunities of all sizes Form a Mayor’s Youth Council Have a balanced budget without raising the millage rate while finding opportunities to cut local taxes as fiscally able Host quarterly Business Roundtables so the City Council can engage local businesses, hear their concerns and seek solutions Publish a thorough Doing Business in Pascagoula kit for start-ups Continue to push for FEMA to reassess the flood maps as well as working with state and federal agencies to reduce the risk variables affecting our local insurance market Host a bi-annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast to engage local communities of faith and partner with them to improve our community Appoint a City Council representative to all city sponsored boards and commissions Ensure that appointments to city sponsored boards and committees continue to be vetted and not rubber stamped Host ward meetings and a public State of the City town hall meeting annually Promote Pascagoula’s interest to our state and nation while seeking innovative solutions to our challenges Pursue city property consolidation and enhance recreational opportunities for all ages

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AFTERWORD

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Fellow Citizens,

The municipal elections this year are truly important. It is imperative that we elect people whose motivation is just and whose vision and record are sound. We cannot sit idly by and accept the way things are; if we do, our City will plateau and eventually decline. We must think of our future while honoring our past, plan for tomorrow while taking care of today. What we do now matters and we must be deliberative in our actions, not shortsighted. As our next Mayor, I will cast a wide vision while setting realistic measures of success. We can and will accomplish these goals contained in this action plan. It is imperative that our City have a Mayor who can lead on day one. Our campaign is the only campaign who has consistently taken the time to both understand the City and engage with our citizens. I ask you to help me revive the pride in Pascagoula and catch the vision. Join hands with me and help Pascagoula rise on a tide of passion, experience and leadership. I'm ready to push Pascagoula forward alongside you. I hope you will join me as we revive the pride in our great City and chart a path toward an even brighter tomorrow! Thank you again for placing your trust in me and for giving me your vote in the past. I now ask for your vote and support for Mayor of our great City of Pascagoula this spring. Please share your concerns and offer your suggestions. I want to hear from you over the coming months and beyond. I covet your prayers and encouragement along the way and welcome your offers of support and assistance. Thank you for reading and as always, Think Pascagoula First!

Frank

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ABOUT THE CANDIDATE

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Frank Corder is the Ward 4 City Councilman. He was elected in a Special Election in 2008 with 54% of the vote and reelected in 2009, running unopposed. Before running for office, he conscientiously attended City Council meetings for many years and volunteered on many city boards and projects. Frank was born and raised in Pascagoula. He attended Pascagoula High School and the University of Southern Mississippi. Frank has served on and chaired numerous city and civic boards and committees, a few of which include Sounds by the Sea, Kiwanis Club, Pine-Burr Bay Rivers Area Council of Boy Scouts, Jackson County National Day of Prayer, Pascagoula Main Street, and the Pascagoula Renaissance Commission. He has coached local youth T-Ball, soccer and flag football. He chaired the Dixie Youth World Series Committee in 2008 and served as a T-Ball representative on the board. He currently sits on the board of the Singing River Soccer Club. Frank is currently on the Elections Committee within the Mississippi Municipal League and on the National League of Cities 2013 Small Cities Council Steering Committee, where he previously served on the Democratic Governance Panel and the Information Technology and Communications Policy Committee. He has completed all three levels of the certified municipal official program within the Mississippi Municipal League – basic, advanced and professional development. Frank was named Mississippi Volunteer of the Year in 2006 by the Mississippi Economic Council for his efforts to help Pascagoula post-Hurricane Katrina. He was named to the Sunherald’s South Mississippi Business Leaders Top 10 under 40 in 2007 and to the Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 under 40 in the state of Mississippi in 2010. Frank received the Mississippi Main Street Special Service Award for a Public Official in 2008. Frank is a conservative Republican and has served on the Jackson County Republican Club Board of Directors. He assists his family’s business, Corder’s Creamery & Garden Bar, as business and marketing advisor and writes for Yall Politics. He also has experience in banking, radio/television hosting, business management and ministry. He is married with two children, both of which attend Eastlawn Elementary in the Pascagoula School District. Their family attends Eastlawn United Methodist Church where Frank serves on the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee. He is also an ordained minister.

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PASCAGOULA ELECTION SCHEDULE:

Republican Primary Election – May 7, 2013 Primary Runoff (if needed) – May 21, 2013 General Election – June 4, 2013

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
228.623.1236 * frank@frankcorder.com * www.frankcorder.com

Publication paid for by Frank Corder for Mayor
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