City Council to eye new ward lines

The public tonight gets its first look at the newly proposed ward lines in Biloxi, which will be added to the agenda tonight and will take effect in the next municipal elections, in 2025.

The ward lines are expected to be added to the agenda for the City Council meeting at 6 this evening.

The new lines, which reflect population shifts in the latest Census, keep the seven wards close to the present layout, but were designed to square-up ward lines with reasonably proportionate number of residents.

Biloxi has about 49,500 residents, according to the latest Census, and each ward averages about 7,000 residents.

The city council has six months to redraw the ward lines after official publication of the local census numbers, which occurred in late August.

“There is no requirement for a formal public hearing,” said City Attorney Peter Abide. “The two council meetings (first and second readings) serve as public hearings, but any councilmember could call for an extra hearing, a workshop, or table this proposal.

“The statute provides that the council draws the lines, without veto from the mayor,” Abide added. “The ward populations should be reasonably proportionate, which can be tricky because some census tracts range in size.

“Overall, we’ve tried to keep it simple and fair to all.”
See the current ward lines
See the proposed ward lines
See the re-districting ordinance
See the council agenda and supporting documents

News & notes: First Friday, Veterans parade, senior citizens

Weekend video preview: It’s a 60-second preview of the big happenings downtown this weekend: First Friday and Veterans Day parade. To see the video, click here. To see the First Friday flyer, click here. To see the Veterans parade route, click here.

Senior citizens calendar: The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department has published its November calendar of events for the senior citizens program. To see the list of exercise classes, arts & crafts and other events, click here.