Semper Fi! Biloxi native, Marine OK’d as new CAO

Mike Leonard, the Biloxi native and Marine whom George Lawrence says “has more degrees than a thermometer,” has been approved as Biloxi’s next chief administrative officer.

The Biloxi City Council voted 6-1 this afternoon to approve the nomination by Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich. Councilmember Robert L. Deming III casting the lone dissenting vote.

Councilmembers also approved a Gilich administration request to increase the deposits for new residential water customers from $50 to $170 and double the new customer fee from $15 to $30.

Biloxi Public Works Director Billy Ray Allen, who had requested a $200 deposit for new customers, said the city’s water department is losing between $6,500 and $7,000 a month from customers who discontinue service without paying their bill.

Councilmembers also voted to table voting on a new municipal budget until a special meeting Thursday.

The city’s new CAO, meantime, is expected to begin work Oct. 1.

During the meeting, a councilmember asked Gilich how long he’d known Leonard. “Sixty-eight years,” the mayor said matter of fact. “I trust him with my life, my wife, my money and with this city.”

The duo, Gilich said, graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1965. ¬† Added the mayor: “I was the center on the football team, and he was my left guard.”
See the Mike Leonard resume
Read background on the Leonard appointment
See photos from meeting this afternoon


News and notes

Fireman’s Day parade:¬†Dozens of firefighters, fire trucks and fans of firefighters gathered in downtown Biloxi on Saturday for the annual Fireman’s Day parade. To see images from the day, click here.

The week that was: To see the highlights from last week from the departments of Fire, Police and Community Development, click here.