Gines: ‘I stand ready to assist in anyway needed’

Here are the remarks delivered by Ward 2 Councilman Felix O. Gines, speaking as acting mayor at the Biloxi Chamber’s “Breakfast with the Mayor,” Feb. 3, 2015, at the IP Casino Resort Spa.

Good morning and welcome to Breakfast with the Mayor. Today, of course, it’s also “Breakfast with the Acting Mayor.”

I want thank everyone who has wished me well on this assignment. But the truth of the matter is, I have served as acting mayor many times over the last two years since I was elected councilman. Anytime the mayor goes out of town for an extended trip, he has appointed me as acting mayor.

It’s primarily ceremonial, but I also realize that this case is a little different. The fact is, city business is continuing just as if the mayor was here.

I stand ready to assist the administration in anyway needed. I’m proud that the mayor has chosen me to stand up for Biloxi as needed. And speaking of the mayor, we already know when the mayor is going to be back. And that’s going to be when he is ready. Not one minute before, not one minute later. When he’s ready.

We’re excited about what we have going on in Biloxi right now. More than $180 million in infrastructure work in east Biloxi. We’re getting ready to move south of the CSX railway. The City Council meets tonight at 6, and we’ll be looking at the initial reading of an ordinance to establish a tree committee. At some point down the road, we’ll also be looking at this issue of short-term rentals.

And, of course, we’re working on MGM Park, which you’re going to be hearing about in a minute.

Let me say this: As a councilman, and as acting mayor, I am continuing to work for the betterment of Biloxi. All of the work that we are doing is helping grow our community. We are setting the table for economic development, so we can have a better community for me and you, for our families, our children and grandchildren, and for the 4 million visitors we have to our city each year.

I ask that you to remember Mayor Holloway in your prayers, and let’s continue to work hard as we await his return.

And now, I want to introduce a speaker who is going to give you some information about how the city is going to maximize the use of MGM Park. Under the terms of the contract we have with the baseball team and the Beau Rivage, the city is allowed to have 10 events in the stadium each year. This is very important to us for many reasons.

We’re also looking to have some exciting things in downtown Biloxi on game day.

To help make all of these things happen, we’ve hired a native Biloxian, a former semi-pro baseball player, and someone most of you know. With all of those things in mind, we hired him anyway!

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Cliff Kirkland.