You could say Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich is ambitious. But you’d be a master of understatement.
Likewise if you said he loves his hometown of Biloxi.
Both those traits were on full display at his State of the City speech at the Beau Rivage Casino & Resort on Wednesday, a speech that leaves us optimistic about Biloxi’s future.
Gilich drew a sellout crowd that included Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes. It’s good to see the mayors of the Coast’s two biggest cities support, rather than tangle with, one another.
Gilich wants to have a boardwalk across the Biloxi beachfront and onto Back Bay to attract walkers, runners, cyclists and boaters. That could bring more diners to the beachfront restaurants and entice more restauranteurs to offer those diners more choices.
He hasn’t forgotten the homeless, either. He’s trying to bring a homeless servicing center to help get those people into homes. An ambitious goal if ever there were one.
He wants an Amtrak train stop, more hotels to build and Keesler Air Force Base to solidify its role in our national defense.
His administration inherited a nightmarish, and wildly unpopular, infrastructure project. It appears Gilich has learned much and promises the rest of the infrastructure work won’t be as chaotic.
Gilich’s roots run deep in Biloxi and we’re confident the growth and progress he envisions will not alter the city’s character.
Biloxi will always be Biloxi.
Everyone on the increasingly interconnected Coast should be pulling for Biloxi. Every new visitor at every new attraction is a visitor the rest of the Coast can entice to stay one more day, or two, and see what else the area has to offer.
We are all in this together. When one of our cities is winning, we all are.
“We are making progress but we need to quicken the pace and expand the scope,” Gilich said.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.