UPDATED: Waveland Mayor Garcia will not seek re-election
By Dwayne Bremer
Jul 29, 2014, 20:29
Mayor David Garcia
Four years ago, then-Mayor-Elect David Garcia promised the residents of Waveland that he would do his very best to help the city recover from Hurricane Katrina and a major financial crisis.
On Tuesday, Garcia said he believes that his work is done and it is time to retire.
"It is very bittersweet," Garcia said. "I feel like I could cry, but this is the right thing to do. I have 41 years of public service and I think the time is right for me to step away. I want to spend time with my family and do some other things. I think we have accomplished a lot in the past four years and I am proud of that."
Garcia, who served as the city's fire chief for more than two decades, took down four-term incumbent Tommy Longo in the 2010 general election.
In a letter issued Tuesday to the citizens of Waveland, Garcia said one of his proudest achievements was fixing the financial troubles the city faced when he took over.
"Upon (my) taking office, Waveland was suffering from many financial troubles," Garcia said. "At that time, filing for bankruptcy was a real possibility. Yet, throughout the past four years, we have been able to persevere and rebound from nearly a $1 million deficit to a surplus of over $2 million.
“Unfortunately, these accomplishments have not come without sacrifice.
Nearly all full-time employees were either laid off or furloughed.
“The fact that these people were forced to find other means to support themselves and their families has not been lost on me. Since then, we have been able to to rehire 69 of these individuals and hopefully, the city can continue to support this trend."
Garcia said he has confidence that the city is being left in good hands.
"The board, our staff, and our city attorney have done an outstanding job," he said. "I could not have done anything without their support. I cannot thank them enough for their support and dedication. I want to extend my utmost appreciation to everyone in this city of Waveland. It has been a great honor to know that you trusted me to do what was right."