Jay Trapani sworn in as Waveland’s new mayor

At the top of his priorities is increasing manpower for both the police and fire departments. He also wants to tackle issues that he saw on the campaign trail.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 6:21 PM CST
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WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - Jay Trapani is officially the mayor of Waveland. He took the oath of office at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. We spoke with him inside the mayoral office at City Hall.

“It’s been hectic, but I feel great. I just couldn’t wait to get started today,” Trapani said.

The walls of his office are bare. His desk is void of pictures or knick-knacks. That’s because his focus is on the city and not the office.

“I wanted to get officially sworn in so I could start taking care of business immediately,” Trapani said. “I didn’t grow up through the ranks of politics. I wasn’t an alderman coming in, so I have a lot to learn. I have to be patient because the public sector doesn’t move as fast as the private sector, and that’ll be one of my frustrations because I’ll want things to move faster.”

At the top of his priorities is increasing manpower for both the police and fire departments. Beyond that, he wants to tackle issues that became apparent on the campaign trail.

“As I’ve met with citizens; drainage is a big issue. The previous administration started some drainage studies, so we’re gonna continue working with those to see what we can do. There’s a lot of funding out there. Waveland really hasn’t capitalized [on that] in the past. We’re going after all those things. That’s part of the reason I’m going to Jackson tomorrow and then I’ll be in Jackson next week for three days,” he said.

Trapani tells WLOX he has over 35 years of experience managing people and businesses. He has a business degree from the University of New Orleans.

“My business background is extensive and my degree is in management and marketing, so I hope to take those experiences and put them into government,” he said. “Waveland needs to be marketed. I’ve said that all along, that I hope to bring in my marketing skills to help build Waveland up. We need to create a strategic plan for economic growth. If you don’t have a plan, then you just - the shotgun approach doesn’t work.”

Part of his plan is to boost the city’s economy with new life. He hopes the development of two condominiums at the foot of Coleman Avenue will do just that. He also has plans for Highway 90.

“There’s some things in the works, some real nice talks about the old Rite Aid building at the corner of 90 and Nicholson,” he said. “And then there’s a group that, I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet, that’s looking at a nice project on Highway 90 in Waveland.”

Trapani knows that no matter how ambitious and driven he is, the mayor is only as strong as his workforce.

“There’s a lot of good city workers here. People who want to move Waveland forward and I’m going to give them every opportunity to do that. All I ever wanted to do was move Waveland forward,” he said.

Also sworn in on Tuesday were new Ward 1 Alderman Rhonda Aime-Gamble, Ward 2 Alderman Bobby Richardson, Ward 3 Alderman Shane LaFontaine and new Ward 4 Alderman Jeremy Clark.

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