Bay Harbor Commission assembles
By Cassandra Favre
Oct 5, 2013, 00:17
The Bay St. Louis harbor commission on Tuesday conducted its inaugural meeting.
The commission includes: Lee Seal, interim chair; J.P. Compretta; Charles Lefleur; Chet Leblanc; Ken Harper; Chris Roth and Rod Ward.
Mayor Les Fillingame explained to the commission and public the purpose of the meeting and what is expected of the group.
"The community very much needs the expertise you bring to the table," Mayor Les Fillingame said. "All of your meetings will be public and we are going to set some parameters for the public."
Fillingame asked that members of the audience remain in their seats during the meeting, listen and do not participate or offer opinions until the commission asks for them.
"Bay St. Louis has not created an enterprise since we created our utility system back in the late 1950s and early '60s," Fillingame said. "This is an extremely important enterprise that we are in the incorporation of."
Each member of the commission introduced himself and gave a brief description of his background.
Compretta is a lifelong resident of Bay St. Louis. He attended Pearl River Community College, University of Southern Mississippi and obtained his law degree at Mississippi College School of Law. He has worked in private practice since 1971. Served as prosecuting attorney for Hancock County and assistant district attorney. He was a 32 year member of the Mississippi House of Representatives and served as speaker and on numerous House committees.
Dr. Charles Lefleur has lived in Bay St. Louis for about 20 years, he said and, is a former Marine and Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart. He attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; attained Bachelor and Masters degrees at University of Southern Mississippi and completed his doctorate in administration of higher education at Auburn University. He has owned boats and lived on the water most of his life.
Chet LeBlanc said he has been a resident of Bay St. Louis since 1999 and is a licensed Mississippi contractor.
Lee Seal is a lifelong resident of Bay St. Louis. He is a graduate of St. Stanislaus and Mississippi State with a degree in professional geology. He has served on numerous state, county and municipal boards. He is also the director of Bay Bridgefest.
Ken Barber is a retired career Naval officer and a specialist in oceanography. He was first stationed in Bay St. Louis in 1993 and again in 1997. He served as the director of the international hydrographic organization which works to support the safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment.
Chris Roth moved to Bay St. Louis in the 1990s. He works for Hancock Bank and manages insurance agency operations. He has owned his own businesses over the years.
Rod Ward has lived in Bay St. Louis for 27 years. His family has served in the maritime industry maintaining shrimp and oyster boats. Ward is an agent with Pass Christian-based Ellis Realty.
Mike Hemsley is an alternate commission member. He holds a degree in geophysical fluid mechanics from Johns Hopkins University; Masters of civil engineering from George Washington University with a major in harbor, coastal and ocean engineering. He served with the Army Corps of Engineers. He has worked with University of Southern Mississippi engaging in observation of the ocean. He is writing a book and writes magazine articles about cars.
Fillingame said that Paula Fairconnetue will serve as the appointed contact and will update the city's website.
"We ask that the public submit any requests in writing for right now through Fairconnetue's office in city hall," Fillingame said. "We will get it to you guys for your consideration as to what time that you would feel appropriate to bring them in and get them on the agenda.
"City attorney Don Rafferty will help manage the legal side, especially with the creation of ordinances that you will be working toward recommending."
"The website will have each of you listed and we will incorporate a municipal e-mail for each of you, "Fillingame said.
"I think the fire station will be a great room to have meetings," Seal said. "We can sit around the round table and look at each other and discuss.
"We've got so much work to do we should probably meet weekly, until we get through some of this."
The first action of the commission was to schedule weekly Tuesday afternoon meetings to be held at the fire station training room on Main Street at 3 p.m.