HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker was sworn-in as mayor of the city for a second term. Barker, along with other city council members, were sworn-in Tuesday at the Saenger Theater.
The mayor was first elected in 2017, and he was re-elected on June 8, 2021. In his speech on Tuesday, he discussed diversity, accountability and the importance of teamwork with the city council and neighbors.
“I again take this mantle of leadership with abundant thankfulness to our citizens, our supporters, our employees, our office staff and our cabinet.” said Barker.
Throughout his speech, Barker vowed continuous improvement for the City of Hattiesburg. In an interview, he called attention to the city’s unique opportunity to move forward.
“We have to recognize that we’re posed to take some big steps and that begins with economic development, trying to continue to grow jobs, continue to make sure that we pair people with the jobs that are available with their skills. It’s important that we double down on our commitment to public schools and continue to develop things in the arts that we can work collectively to solve some of the ills that we still have like gun violence,” he stated.
Barker plans to continue his efforts to improve arts, education, jobs, and infrastructure in the city. In his closing remarks, he advocated for citizens to make use of vaccine availability.