Long Beach Ward 5 Alderman And Mayor Pro Tempore, Mark Lishen, Decides To Not Seek Re-Election
The following correspondence was received from Long Beach Ward 5 Alderman and Mayor Pro Tempore, Mark Lishen - AIA, whom has decided to not seek re-election in 2021 after 16 years and 8 months of dedicated service.
Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues and Fellow Elected Officials:
I have been honored and humbled to serve Long Beach and Ward 5 as Alderman for over 16 years and Mayor Pro Tempore for almost 8 years. From helping constituents in Ward 5 with issues no matter how big or small to larger issues affecting the overall good of Long Beach, I am proud of the work I have accomplished over the years. However, it is now time to take a new step forward. After careful consideration and thoughtful prayer, and with the support of my wife, Donna, it is with some regret, yet anticipation, that I have decided I will not seek re-election in 2021 as Alderman of Ward 5.
As many of you know, upon return to my hometown in 2000, I decided to run for Alderman of Ward 5 in October 2004 for the seat held by then Alderman Billy Skellie who resigned to run for Mayor of Long Beach. I was, by all standards, new to the political process but persevered in my determination to help Long Beach’s growth forward. Looking back, I’m not sure I really expected to win considering my opponent’s importance and reputation in our community, but ultimately prevailed by only two votes over a very, very dear friend - Ginger Worth.
I was blessed and fortunate to win re-election in 2005, just months before Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Coast and Long Beach. For the next several months, I was able to work alongside Mayor Billy Skellie and Fire Chief George Bass to help our beloved community attempt to recover and move forward. We made a lot of progress over the next decade with a new City Hall, new Fire Station 2, new Senior Citizen/Recreation Center, new Harper McCaughan Town Green, Jeff Davis Avenue Improvements, new infrastructure improvements south of the CSX Railroad, new Pineville Road sidewalk project, not to mention major drainage improvement projects I was able to champion in Ward 5 along with many, many other positive changes.
Looking back, I was even more fortunate with God’s blessing to win re-election in 2009, 2013 and most recently 2017 when former Fire Chief George Bass was elected Mayor of Long Beach after Mayor Skellie’s retirement in 2017. The current administration met early in June of 2017 to create some very lofty, yet achievable goals and objectives for the future of Long Beach. I could not be more proud to have been a part of Mayor Bass’ current administration. Although I will not be around to see these projects come to fruition, Long beach will ultimately greatly benefit from the Long Beach Harbor Resorts Casino Project, Highway 90/Gateway Project, Quarles House Renovation Project, Beatline Road Expansion Project, Harbor Improvement Project, Commission Road/Klondyke Road Intersection Project, 28th Street/Klondyke Road Intersection Project, Pineville Road Sidewalk Expansion Projects, and many federally funded drainage improvement projects.
I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best municipal officials over the years……..too numerous to mention all by name, but you know who you are………from City Clerks, Fire Chiefs, Police Chiefs, City Judges and Attorneys, Department Heads and Employees of our Municipal Court, Water Department, Public Works, City Engineering, Recreation Department, City Library, Building Department, as well as the unsung volunteers of the Planning/Development and Port Commissions and my fellow Boards of Aldermen over the years……you need to know that it has been an honor and a privilege to be here, to serve with and for you for these past 16+ years. Just know that you have all held a special place in my heart for your service to our great City. I trust that Long Beach is and will continue to be in the hands of our most humble of servants.
I wish you all the very best and hope that the light for the future of Long Beach shines bright. Again, it has been an honor and privilege to serve Long Beach as Ward 5 Alderman for the past 16+ years. Good luck and may God Bless our future.
Mark E. Lishen, AIA, LEED AP
Mayor Pro Tempore
Alderman Ward 5