Comments to Republican Club reception

Here are the prepared remarks of Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, for a reception in his honor hosted by the Harrison County Republican Club, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at the White Pillars Restaurant.

Let me start with a sincere “thank you” to the Harrison County Republican Club and to Brooks and Deborah Holstein for this outstanding event.

My family and I have been lifted up by the support and encouragement all of you have shown to us.

Best of all, no one has demanded to see my papers. Yet.

It has been a whirlwind three weeks since the election.  And it has been everything I expected.

My days are long. My nights are short. And I’m loving every minute of it.

I am honored and humbled to be Mayor of Biloxi, to have an opportunity to serve my hometown, and give back to it, because it has given so much to me.

Of course, I’m still getting used to all the new best friends that come with the job. And I hope they’re all here tonight.

When I started my campaign a few shorts months ago, I promised to pursue this job with only one agenda ~ to do what’s best for Biloxi. It’s all about Biloxi.

And I’m proud to say I fulfill that promise every single day.

When backed into a corner by the push to open the baseball stadium early, I seized the opportunity to improve the City’s financial exposure AND assure an early opening.

Biloxi is not spending a penny more than it was already committed to on the stadium, but Saturday we’re going to have our first game. … two months ahead of schedule.

This was a critical issue for Biloxi, for our new baseball team the Shuckers, and for our stadium partners and our taxpaying citizens.

We came out of negotiations with a stronger position and without additional cost to Biloxi. That’s what I call a win-win.

I’ve also brought Gerald Blessey back into City Hall as our City Attorney. And we’re all going to be better because of it.

Gerald is charting a new strategy for our many legal requirements, and it is going to save us money.

He’s also going to lead our economic development initiative.

I’m lucky to have Gerald assisting me, and Biloxi is fortunate to have him, too.

I’m also fortunate to inherit a quality team of city employees, who enjoy their jobs and are dedicated to improving operations and the delivery of services.

We’re moving quickly to identify areas that need improvement, and beginning the process of change that needs to happen.

I’ve also already met privately with the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Secretary of State. I had the opportunity to share with them my Christmas list, and I’m expecting Christmas to come early.

I’ve also spoken with Senator Thad Cochran, who was kind enough to call to congratulate me on election night. And I look forward to working with Thad to expedite several important projects in Biloxi.

I know many of you here tonight aren’t citizens of Biloxi. And I appreciate you slipping across the border to show your support. But while you’re here, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. That’s what we do in Biloxi.

I won’t bore you any longer. I’m honored to have your friendship and support. I’m even more honored to have your prayers in the days, the months and the years ahead.

I will continue to work hard for Biloxi, and for our Mississippi Gulf Coast. We are all vital to each other.

Thanks again for sharing your valuable time with me. And thank you for your good wishes.

Now let’s enjoy ourselves…and before we leave tonight, let’s remember to have someone show me the secret handshake.

God bless all of you and God bless Biloxi.