Charges of mayoral racism fly in Biloxi

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Tuesday afternoon Biloxi residents got a chance to weigh in on Mayor Holloway's rejection of a proposed splash pad at Henry Beck Park.

Last week, Ward two councilman Bill Stallworth proposed to add a splash pad and restrooms to Henry Beck Park, and to renovate the Mercy Cross Gymnasium. In a 5-2 vote, council accepted the plan but Monday Mayor Holloway vetoed the resolution and residents don't like it.

"All of these are our children. All of these children need our help," said Pastor Kenneth Hollins.

Biloxi resident Harold Roberts agrees.

"As somebody who works in this part of the city, we need to work together. And anything that can be done to improve the quality of life for our citizens and for our children would be greatly appreciated," said Roberts.

Kryzra Stallworth, the wife of ward two councilman Bill Stallworth was the most vocal of the outspoken residents.

"I'm not saying this because I'm married to him," said Stallworth. "I'm saying this because that is the man that he is and the vision and the mission that God has given him."

Mrs. Stallworth praised what she calls her husband's tireless effort to uplift East Biloxi. But she challenged the mayor's fairness when it comes to the predominately black community.

"Please get out of the 1850s, please leave the black codes out, please leave the Jim Crows out. Look at us not by the color of skin but by the content of our hearts and our desires and our drive," said Stallworth.

Mayor Holloway says his decision has nothing to do with race. In fact, the only color he seems concerned with is green.

"I think it was taken out of context and frankly it was out of line. This is about dollars and cents," said Holloway.

The mayor says the city is on a tight budget but monies appropriated for projects like the splash pad and gym renovation won't be spent.

"Maybe we can do two or three small parks or splash pads in different parts of the city rather than one big one in a part of the city," said Holloway.

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