Gilich proposes new roles for Abide, Blessey


Peter Abide

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich is proposing longtime Biloxi attorney Peter Abide and his firm, Currie Johnson, be named the new city attorney. The appointment would allow Gerald Blessey and his firm to step away from the day-to-day running of the Legal Department and serve as an outside counsel focusing on economic development issues and specific matters.

The mayor will be seeking City Council approvals for the moves on Tuesday. The council meeting is at 6 p.m. at City Hall and is open to the public.

“Peter Abide is someone who has ably represented the city on a host of legal issues in the 13 months since he was approved by the City Council,” Gilich said.¬† “And, Gerald is not stepping off into the sunset by any means. He still has much more to offer this city, particularly in terms of advancing our waterfront vision, proposed legislation and other economic development issues.”

Blessey, a former legislator and two-term Biloxi mayor who set up Biloxi’s mayor-council form of government in the ’80s, a week ago announced he was stepping down as city attorney on Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Meantime, Abide (pronounced “A-bide”) has resided and practiced law in Biloxi for 29 years. He and his firm have served as one of the outside counsel for the city since last August. The city’s reconstituted Legal Department, which Blessey reorganized after being named by Gilich and confirmed by the City Council, has saved the city $100,000 in its first year.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday is a resolution that would ask Harrison County to pave the access road and parking lot at the Biloxi Dog Park off Popp’s Ferry Road, and a preliminary draft of an ordinance that would establish uniform times for amplified music at all city facilities, especially for outdoor events.
See the Abide resolution
See the Blessey resolution
See the overall City Council agenda


Podcasting: Tech summit, city attorney and CAO status, and more

F. Cliff Kirkland, the city’s Chief of Civic Innovation and Development, drops by this week’s Coty Desk podcast to discuss a host of issues: the importance of this week’s Technology Summit, continuing work on the broadband initiative, the mayor’s proposals to name Paul A. Tisdale as the city’s chief administrative officer and new roles for attorneys Peter Abide and Gerald Blessey, and a BP economic development proposal that had originally been scheduled to go before the City COuncil next week but has been pushed back a week.
Listen to the City Desk podcast


Biloxi-themed artwork unveiled at the Biloxi Visitors Center

Coast writer, editor and artist Karen Bryant unveiled a new collection of “word map” T-shirts, bags and aprons today¬†at the Biloxi Visitors Center. And each piece makes prominent use of the names “Biloxi,” “Harrison County” or “Mississippi,” and boundaries of those areas.

Bryant’s mix of design and words, especially the name “Biloxi,” is a follow-up to her word-artwork depicting neighborhoods of her hometown, Gulfport. The Gulfport line was originated as a birthday gift for a friend. ‚ÄúThis was the year after Hurricane Katrina, and we were still dealing with the loss of our landmarks and neighborhoods, which had been forever altered,‚ÄĚ Bryant said. ‚ÄúThe design was meant to bring to mind those places we knew and loved ‚ÄĒ to be appreciated from an insider‚Äôs perspective.”

Select designs are now available as wearable art and accessories at the Biloxi Visitors Center.

“I am so happy to have my representations of Biloxi and Mississippi in the Visitors Center,” Bryant said. “So far, the response has been great, and I am appreciative and humbled.”

In addition to word map prints and wearable art, Bryant has added a new line of print work: custom cards, posters, and party printables.
See photos from the unveiling


Weekend preview: Paul Jr., bikes, arts, and soul

Bikers and fans of everything on two or three wheels have a new way to celebrate this Labor Day weekend, and meet the younger star of cable TV’s “American Chopper.”

The inaugural Bike the Beach, billed as the largest bike event ever held on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is a four-day, family event that benefits Make-A-Wish Mississippi.

Festivities begin with a free party at the The Dock Bar & Grill in Gulfport this evening from 6 to 10 p.m., followed on Saturday with the main event at Bike Central, a.k.a. MGM Park from 1 to 6 p.m.¬† Paul Teutul Jr. of cable TV’s ¬†“American Chopper” will be the special event host and available for autographs and photos from 2 to 5 p.m.¬† The main event will also feature a Best in Show motorcycle contest, kids area with inflatables and games, vendor booths, food, and live entertainment by Derek Norsworthy and DJ AD.

Other activities include a poker run on Saturday, a free pub crawl in Ocean Springs on Sunday and a free Labor Day Celebration at Point Cadet Plaza on Monday.  The Monday celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. will feature Tim Smith from Moonshiners, DJ Hyphee, and the Best in Show winner will be announced.

General admission to the main event is $10 and free for ages 10 and under.

Elsewhere this weekend:¬† Biloxi Main Street’s First Friday series continues tonight with #artontherue in the Downtown Biloxi Arts District, Kenny G. will be at the Beau Rivage, and The Temptations & The Four Tops perform at the IP. ¬†Over at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center, Southern soul fans can enjoy and outdoor music festival on Sunday featuring soul-blues legend Willie Clayton, R&B crooner Tucka and Southern soul singers Jeff Floyd and Lebrado.
See the entire weekend lineup


News and notes

Pool Party: The Parks and Recreation Department holds its annual Back-To-School Pool Party tonight from 6 to 8 at the Biloxi Natatorium.  The pool party is free and open to all ages. See the flyer

More time to swim: Beginning Monday, Sept. 19, the Biloxi Natatorium will open at 5 a.m. weekdays to allow for more swimming time. Details: 228-435-6205

Holiday schedule: Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. All offices will resume their normal hours on Tuesday.