Remarks to President Bush during City Hall briefing

Remarks of Mayor A.J. Holloway to President Bush during the president’s visit to Biloxi City Hall, on Thursday, March 1, 2007:

I want to tell you how honored we are to have the President of the United States in Biloxi City Hall.

And on behalf of the people of Biloxi, I want to thank you for all of the assistance you have given us.

Since you’re here, we do have a few issues we wish you would consider. Four of them, in fact, and they’re impacting our recovery.

First, we appreciate the four-month extension of federal help on debris removal. However, I wish you would consider expanding the assistance to those areas outside the storm surge, where people have been dealing with insurance issues.

Second, I hope that you can influence the EPA to extend the no-action assurance to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality until June 30, as they did in Louisiana. This has to do with handling asbestos removal.

Third, I hope that you will consider treating Katrina victims the same way victims of the disasters in Florida and 911. That is, drop the 10 percent match stipulation on federal assistance.

And fourth, I wish we could get the new flood maps in place. We have the advisory maps, which our City Council enacted this week, but we’d like to get those FINAL ones in place before the June 1st start of hurricane season, if possible.

(At conclusion of remarks)

Mr. President, I also have a complaint – and it’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.

You’ve been to the Katrina recovery zone, I think, 14 times in 18 months.

It’s not that we don’t like seeing you, but you’ve been here so many times, it’s about time you had one of these. (license tag)

Don’t leave home without it.