SOTC: Gilich lays out solid vision for Biloxi

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich updated a host of major city projects and initiatives for an audience of 650 at the State of the City luncheon today, all designed to help foster “that Biloxi thing.”

“You know all about that Biloxi thing,” Gilich told the audience in his opening remarks at the Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

“Some are born with it, some catch it, and when you get it, wherever you may be, it never leaves.  It is as undeniable as a fingerprint and recognizable in a nanosecond.  Biloxi is many things, almost all good and many of them great.  Our goal is to make them greater, and keep it safe, friendly, and beautiful.”

And with those words, Gilich introduced a 21-minute video that highlighted such major initiatives as a new main entrance for Keesler, daily Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast, ultra-high speed internet service for all residents and businesses, and, of course, making progress on the infrastructure work in east Biloxi.

He also updated the progress on Ship Island Excursions resuming its Biloxi operations and pointed out highlights of the year for all city departments and partner agencies.

During his presentation, he also introduced two new major initiatives: work to secure two high-tech firms to establish operations in Biloxi, and a goal to create a homeless service center in Biloxi, which would follow up on the city’s nationally recognized efforts to help end homelessness among veterans.

They are all, Gilich noted, ideas with vision, he said, quoting Proverbs: “Where there is no vision the people perish.”

“We are making progress but we need to quicken the pace and expand the scope,” Gilich declared. “My job is not done, it has just begun,” he said, quoting a line he heard from Gov. Phil Bryant: “Vision without action is delusion.”

Added the mayor: “You all know me and you know that I thrive on action. Be assured, Biloxi will not be delusional. I stand here humble and so proud that about 20 months ago the people of Biloxi and many of you here today gave me your vote and support and continue to show confidence in my leadership as mayor of the City of Biloxi.

“I pledge two you today that we will turn the visions for our beloved Biloxi into plans. We will make those plans a reality. And all of us will be able to revisit some of those great Biloxi memories, to create new ones for our children and their children, to live, experience and remember.

“And from near and far, we all can say and proclaim, ‘Biloxi, proud of it.'”
See images from the luncheon
See the mayor’s full presentation
See department-by-department highlights
Read the complete text of the mayor’s presentation
See it all for yourself, beginning Thursday on CableOne