OLIVE BRANCH, Miss — Olive Branch is quickly becoming one of Mississippi's largest cities. On Tuesday, it will have a new mayor.
The candidates, Donald Hall and Ken Adams, both said their current experience within the city can be used to improve it.
Donald Hall is the first Democrat to run for the office in this heavily Republican city in more than a decade. Currently, he is the city's planning commission vice chair and said most voters have the same concerns.
"Continuing economic growth and development, maintaining city safety, improvement in our infrastructure and also making sure that we have things for our children to do, which includes investing into our parks and recreations," Hall said.
Republican candidate Ken Adams is a retired DeSoto County justice court judge and plans to make all citizens have a seat at the table if they want one.
"I plan to have several committees or boards," Adams said. "I plan to have a citizens advisory board with citizens to help steer Olive Branch in the direction that they want it go. I want a business advisory board made up of our business leaders in the city of Olive Branch."
What about the those 6,600 new neighbors from annexation who will soon be paying city taxes, but won't get a say in this election?
Both candidates, who don't seem to disagree on much, agree they have to build a bridge to the city's annexed residents, which includes not raising property taxes.
"I think transparency is very key to making sure our citizens voices are heard," Hall said.
Adams said Olive Branch is equipped to handle the growing population.
"Olive Branch is poised to do that and we have the citizens needs at heart plus we have the employees and the resources that are needed to make those connections for the citizens that have been recently annexed," Adams said.
If elected, Hall will become the first African American mayor of Olive Branch.
Residents, not a part of the new annexation, will need to vote at their designated polling place.