Holloway on growing the city: “This vote is about the future”

Here are the comments that Mayor A.J. Holloway made to the Biloxi City Council at the outset of a meeting on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007, where the issues of annexation – past and present – were discussed. Council members were scheduled to vote Tuesday afternoon on whether to proceed with plans to annex an area 12.2-square mile area northeast of the city.

This afternoon the City Council will have an important vote that will drive the growth of this city for years to come.

We can be a progressive city with an eye to the future, or we can concentrate only on the past and we can argue about what we’ve done and what we haven’t done.

This issue about growing the size of Biloxi is not about A.J. Holloway and the present members of the City Council. It’s about the future.

It’s about whether the Biloxi of the future will be boxed in and stagnate or whether we’ll be a city that offers opportunity for growth.

Over the past several years, months and weeks, there’s been discussion about what Biloxi has done in the way of providing services in the Woolmarket community.

I remind you that this area became part of the city in mid-1999, almost 8 years ago. To look at it another way, that’s about 96 months. Of course we all know that Katrina hit 25½ months ago.

This morning, I want to give you an overview of what we’ve done, what we’re doing and what we’re going to do in Woolmarket. You’ll hear detailed reports on water and sewer.

After that, I’m going to ask that we go into executive session to discuss what we’re going to do in the proposed annexation area.

Let me add this: To pull back on growing our city at this point in time would be conceding our future to others. We must control our destiny. We must stand up for the people of Biloxi.

I ask that you look at these things with an open mind and that you remember that this is not about you and me. This is about the future.