Mayor, council to discuss budget Tuesday morning

Mayor A.J. Holloway has called a special meeting of the City Council for Tuesday morning at 10 so that he and councilmembers could continue discussions about the municipal budget for Fiscal Year 2012, which begins Oct. 1.

During the meeting, which will be held at City Hall and is open to the public, the mayor and councilmembers are expected to discuss projected revenue and overall expenses.

Holloway and Director of Administration David Staehling have been meeting with department directors over the past several weeks to draft proposed departmental budgets. Just last week councilmembers heard an administration report on water and sewer rates.

This week councilmembers received the audit for Fiscal Year 2010, which provided a snapshot of city finances for the period from Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010. No financial irregularities, known as “findings,” were reported in the audit, which was conducted by the Biloxi CPA firm of Piltz, Williams, LaRosa & Co.

“That report showed that we operated that year with $7 million less revenue than the previous year, and that we cut expenses by $9.3 million,” said Director of Administration David Staehling. “We did make cuts in all departments that year, and it sounds like we had a positive spread because our cuts exceeded the revenue drop. But we still had $6 million more in spending than we generated in revenue that year.

“That’s going to be the big challenge that we face in the current budget talks, to make sure our expenditures match available revenue, while keeping a prudent financial cushion to offset any eventualities.”

CAFR excerpt: Two key sections of the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for FY 2010 — the “Letter of Transmittal” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” — were referenced repeatedly during Tuesday’s presentation. To see those excerpts, click here.

More info: You can find the entire CAFR and other city budget information in the Financial Report section of the city web site. To go there, click here.

Ole Miss coach to headline Big Red dinner

The Big Red Athletic Foundation will present “An Evening of Baseball with Mike Bianco, Head Coach of the Ole Miss Rebels Baseball Team” on Thursday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m. in the new Biloxi Civic Center on Howard Avenue.

Among the guests will be Biloxi High and LSU standout Doug Thompson of the Colorado Rockies, and Biloxi Head Football Coach John Shannon.

Cost of the dinner is $50 a person, or firms can buy tables of eight for $400, which includes sponsors names displayed on the table. For information about other sponsorships, click here.

Proceeds will benefit the Big Red Athletic Foundation, whose purpose is to help
promote excellence in athletic programs in Biloxi Public Schools and provide
opportunities for student athletes to earn college scholarships.

To print a flyer about the BRAF dinner, click here.

To learn more the Big Red Athletic Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, visit

Attention, late comers: Make arrangements today to register for school

If you still haven’t registered your child for the upcoming school year at Biloxi Public Schools, you should make arrangements now with the school they’ll be attending.

Students must register by the end of this week in order to be able to be in class on Day 1 on Thursday, Aug. 4. And keep in mind that summertime hours vary at each school, so call now. For a list of school phone numbers and other registration information, click here.

Museum plans drawdown for Sept. 17 at BYC

The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum’s 26th annual $10,000 Drawdown will be held on Saturday, Sept 17 at the Biloxi Yacht Club.

The drawdown is the museum’s major fundraiser of the year. It will begin at 6 p.m., with an open bar and and entertainment by Hank Berumen.

The buffet, offering many special seafood dishes, will begin at 7 p.m., and the drawing will begin at 8 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the night.
A silent auction also will be featured.

Tickets are $100 each and are being sold throughout the Coast by members of the museum. They also are available at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum office trailer at 115 First St., or at the temporary museum at Edgewater Mall, just outside the entrance to Belk.

Only 500 tickets will be sold, and each ticket will admit two people to the event. Tickets must be shown at the door to enter the drawdown.

For ticket information, call the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum at (228) 435-6320.