A Leader From Ward Four – For Ward Four
- Rusty Walker being sworn in with other Council Members.
Rusty was elected to the Gulfport Council in 2009 and has served as Vice-President for the last four years. His parents are Ferdie and Gay Walker, owners of F. WALKER & ASSOCIATES, Architect, in Gulfport. He is married to Cori Lynn (Frazier) Walker from Lyman. Rusty’s two daughters, Sarah and Emiley, both grew up and attended school in Ward Four. Emiley is married to Andrew Korte of Long Beach and they are parents to Rusty’s only grandchild Conner.
Councilman Walker has spent nearly his entire life in Ward Four and attended Bayou View Elementary School, Bayou View Junior High, and Gulfport High School. Rusty’s youngest daughter Emiley had the same third grade teacher at Bayou View that he did- only 27 years later. Rusty knows Ward Four and the people that live in it.
Rusty and Cori own Futurespec Consulting, LLC, a company specializing in government procurement, grant and regulatory compliance, contract administration, and governmental budgeting and accounting. Rusty is a recognized expert in the fields in which his business practices and is sought out by governing authorities to handle or teach them to address many of the issues he faces daily on the Gulfport city council. What he does for a business is what he does for the council.
Rusty has previously published several bible studies for group study, founded an international sports federation, and, with his wife, currently builds, programs, and displays the Walker’s Family Light Show which is animated to music each year during the Christmas Holidays from their house on 45th Street.
Rusty has an impressive four-year track record of leadership on the Council that has paid off for Ward Four and all of Gulfport, but he has even more he would like to accomplish in the next four years.
The Council Works
Leadership and Experience
Since elected, Rusty has worked to build relationships on the council that have helped Ward Four and all of Gulfport. As a council, they’ve gotten the budget under control and turned the 8-10 million dollar deficit they faced the day they took office into what is now a balanced budget- all without raising taxes.
Under Rusty’s leadership, this council has re-structured and paid off debt so Gulfport can pave and repair roads in Ward Four and all throughout the city.
Rusty championed legislation that paid to repair and create new sidewalks as safe routes to school in Ward Four.
He voted to fund improvements to the Coast’s only public Golf Course which is located in Ward Four; including improvements to the greens and new golf carts.
He worked to improve Gulfport’s infrastructure by voting to fund the widening of Three Rivers Road from Airport Road to Creosote Road, completion of the widening of Seaway Road, and the first phase of the Dedeaux Road widening project.
Rusty took the fight over state leases on private piers, boathouses, and bulkheads to Jackson. Working with the legislature, Walker championed the successful legislation that now protects not only Ward Four, but all Mississippi water-front property owners from being forced to pay the state an unfair tax on their basic riparian/littoral rights.
As Vice-President, Rusty developed strategies that resolved long-standing issues such as the Struthers Property on 34th Street. That property has been an eye-sore for years. But now, instead of being held hostage by a company with almost 50 years remaining on their lease, Gulfport owns the property free and clear and has entered into lease with a private business that has begun the clean-up process.
In Gulfport’s form of government, a Council’s job is legislative in function. The council passes laws, approves and creates budgets, and generally creates the structure under which the city is run. The council has only the Council Clerk as an employee and council members are responsible for their own work. Listed as a part time job, Rusty currently spends 30-50 hours per week being Vice-President of the Council.
Gulfport Lake Marina
Building out Gulfport Lake to improve the launch, add boat slips, add restrooms, add a club house with food bar, pavilions for picnicking or barbecuing, and adding an area for boats.
West Gulfport Intermodal Center
The intermodal building is a proposed public-private partnership that includes a parking garage, upstairs commercial space, and retail space on the bottom floor. The engineering and market study have been funded. This is a partnership between the city and Coast Transit Authority at this time.