Gaillet to leave Biloxi Public Works post

Biloxi Public Works Director Dan Gaillet, whose son has continued to undergo physical therapy since suffering catastrophic injuries in a car accident shortly after Gaillet joined the city two years ago, has announced that he is stepping down from his city position effective Jan. 4.

Gaillet (pronounced “guy-yaa”), who was hired by Mayor A.J. Holloway in December 2013, informed Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich on Friday that his decision to resign  was prompted by family obligations. His son, Robert, an Eagle Scout, soccer player, piano player and two-time state Cross Country champion, was injured in an automobile accident on the Natchez Trace Parkway in November 2013.

Gilich, who plans to name an acting director of Public Works before nominating a fulltime director, said he was sorry to see Gaillet leave the city.

Said Gilich: “Dan Gaillet did a lot of great things during his time in Biloxi, and our Public Works Department is better today because of him. He instilled professional standards of operation that will continue to help the department better serve our citizens.”

During his two-year stint as Public Works director, Gaillet’s duties included managing and overseeing much of the construction and repairs underway throughout the city. Additionally, he created more than five miles of bike lanes on major city thoroughfares and designated hundreds of public parking spaces on downtown streets to help meet the parking demand created by MGM Park. He also helped design new sidewalks on Atkinson Road.

Gaillet instituted accountability and number of safety measures in the Public Works Department, including electronic timekeeping; vehicle, manpower and inventory tracking systems; and the use of safety vests and hard hats by employees at job sites.

“It has been a real honor and one of my greatest joys to have had the chance to work with the employees and serve the citizens of Biloxi,” said Gaillet, who plans to return to Jackson to closely oversee his son’s continued treatment. “As difficult as it is to say good-bye, I know I’m leaving the city in good hands and am excited about the city’s future and the continued healing of the city’s infrastructure.”

Before joining Biloxi, Gaillet had led the Jackson Public Works Department, where he helped develop a multi-year, $400 million plan to help improve the city’s failing sewer system. He also oversaw the city’s capital projects program skyrocket from 25 projects to more than 150 projects and worked with MDOT to improve Jackson’s and the state’s traffic camera program.

Gaillet also used federal funds to create the state’s first bike-pedestrian path, developed the traffic plan that helped transform Jackson’s Fondren area into a second downtown, and was part of the team to introduce roundabouts to the state. As Jackson’s Public Works director, Gaillet oversaw an annual operating budget of $195 million and nearly 500 personnel. In Biloxi, the city’s Public Works Department today has an operating budget of $9.96 million and 111 personnel.
See Dan Gaillet’s Public Works philosophy


The week that was

The Biloxi Fire Department answered 128 calls for service last week, including 101 emergency medical calls. The Biloxi Police Department, meantime, handled 2,667 calls for service, including 235 violations that prompted 143 arrests. The detailed weekly report for the Community Development Department is not available for the week.
See the Fire and Police detailed reports


News and notes reminders

Public meetings: The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 1:30 p.m.  Neither the Development Review committee nor the Architectural and Historical Review Commission will not meet next week.

Holiday garbage pickup: WastePro, the garbage collection contractor for Harrison County, has announced its holiday schedule. No service is planned for Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, which both fall on a Friday. Service will resume on the next scheduled service day. Recycle and bulk pickup services will be delayed by a day after Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Road work: Oak Street, which has been closed north of the CSX railway for infrastructure work, will be open to traffic through Jan. 4, according to the latest word in the Public Works Department’s online Traffic Update. To see the entire lineup of infrastructure and drainage work throughout the city, click here.