Bland Reflects on Win, Looks Ahead

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Meridian, Mississippi Mayor-Elect Percy Bland took a short break on the afternoon after the election to play ball with his family at Magnolia Park after a long campaign season.

"Well, it's still somewhat like a dream," Bland says. "But, we didn't sleep well last night. We couldn't sleep. But, we're putting things together now, transitioning to the next period."

Right now, he says no decisions have been made on who will lead certain departments within the city. Bland tells Newscenter 11 that first, he wants to look at a few organizational things and determine ways he can make city government more efficient. He says his main concern is still finding a permanent police chief.

"As I've said in the debates and as I've said with everything else, within the first 90 days we will make a permanent decision on the police chief for the city of Meridian."

In the meantime, he is hoping for a smooth transition when he takes office next month. He says that will require communication with Mayor Cheri Barry and her administration. Bland has not spoken to Barry since the election, but hopes too soon. He tells Newscenter 11 he has his hard working team to thank for winning the race for mayor.

"We had a very good organization canvasing team and call team," Bland explains. "And we worked on that during the week and we specifically targeted areas that we needed to get our vote out. And we tried to reach out to a lot of areas in this community."

As for Bland's insurance business, he says two employees have already been groomed to take over leading the business and will do so once he takes office next month, saying his role as mayor will now be his full time job.

Mayor Cheri Barry issued the following statement to her supporters on Wednesday:

It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Meridian for the past four years. I am proud of our many accomplishments which have improved our city. I can honestly say I never made a decision unless I thought it was in the best interest of the city. I am proud of my team and will always be grateful for their hard work. I thank my many supporters who stood by me.