Gluckstadt mayor ready to launch new city
GLUCKSTADT — The new mayor has a hefty task ahead of him launching Mississippi’s newest city practically from scratch.
“We have been tasked with setting up a city government,” said Gluckstadt Mayor Walter Morrison. “Our goal is to put in place a municipal government that provides services that people who live in a city are accustomed to having.”
Morrison said he and the board currently do not have a schedule for bringing services online for the city nor do they have a finalized budget but said that those things will be the product of a lengthy process that will go on in public meetings.
Morrison said one of his first goals will be to establish a regular monthly meeting for the city board.
All other local municipalities meet on the first and third Tuesday of every month.
Morrison said that schedule is not required by state law, so they are not sure when their regular meeting will be set.
Morrison said he anticipates a lot of specially held meetings in addition to the regularly scheduled meetings as the city gets started.
The new long process formally starts at the board’s first meeting on at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22 in the church hall at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 127 Church Road, Gluckstadt.
Morrison said the church was “gracious” in offering the city a meeting space as the city has no offices or city hall at this time.
Another deadline facing the city will be to have wards drawn and the infrastructure in place to hold the city’s first election in the next round of municipal elections set for 2025.
Morrison was appointed to the position by a citizen’s committee along with the five aldermen.
Gluckstadt’s appointed aldermen are Miya Warfield-Bates, John Taylor, Jayce Powell, Wesley Slay and Lisa Williams, all of whom will initially serve in at-large capacities.
They were all selected by a citizens committee headed up by longtime Gluckstadt resident Kerry Minninger and others some years back as part of the filing process for incorporation. At this time, all city officials are serving their duties without pay.
Minninger said that he has known Morrison for well over 20 years.
“He is a great guy and a down-to-business type of guy,” Minninger said. “I think people will see in the way that he conducts the meetings that he wants to get things done in a timely manner and I think that is good for the city. I am confident he will do a great job.”
Minninger said Morrison’s work as an attorney shows he has an understanding of the law, which he said the committee found valuable. Minninger also said that Morrison has a “genuine interest in the community” and has no further political aims, which he described as an “important aspect” for their “citizen-driven” city government.
“We didn’t want to pick someone that might forget what the people want,” Minninger said. “We are excited to see what his board will do. This is a long time coming and I think the city has a bright future.”
Morrison was sparse on personal details.
“I don’t want to get into personal stuff,” Morrison said. “This is not about me. I want to keep the limelight off of me as much as possible.”
Morrison did, however, give a few personal details. He now lives in the First Colony neighborhood with his family. He has lived in the area since 1998 and is regionally from New Roads, Louisiana.
Morrison is an active sportsman. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and is an “avid” clay shooter.