Wall remembered for straight-forward approach and sense of humor

“I’ll always appreciate the fact that Tom was a straight shooter,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said of Biloxi Councilmember Tom Wall, who died this morning after battling cancer. “If he told you something, you could take it to the bank.”
Tom Wall

The popular West Biloxi councilman, who would have turned 74 on Tuesday, had announced several weeks ago that he would not be seeking a sixth term on the Biloxi City Council. He was first elected to the council in 1993 and his west Biloxi constituents re-elected him in 1997, 2001, 2005, and 2009. He was the longest-serving councilmember since the city switched to the mayor-council form of government in 1981.

He was an Air Force veteran who retired as a Senior Master Sergeant, and he opened Classy Chassis car washes in Biloxi, Ocean Springs and Pascagoula. His wife is well-known realtor Arlene Wall. The couple had two sons, Bob and Jeff; four grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.

As a councilman, Wall was known for a no-nonsense approach to issues. He favored short, to-the-point meetings, but could also crack wise during those meetings.

During a vote years ago on whether to allow a developer to construct a convenience store and adjoining car wash he said, “I don’t have a problem with the convenience store, but I’m not sure if we need any more car washes in the city.” He voted in favor of the issue.

He also once cut short a consultant he thought was taking too long to answer a question. Said Wall: “I asked you what time it was, not how to build a clock.”

“He let you know where he stood on things,” Holloway said. “He was his own man and would not cave in to anyone. He looked at an issue, analyzed it, and he voted the way he thought was best. He was a good councilman, and I will miss him. He always had a good sense of humor, too, which was important.”

Under state statute, the mayor will recommend a candidate to be confirmed by the Biloxi City Council to fill the less than six months left on the term.