Hewes' Revenue Idea Defeated

Gulfport residents will not have a chance to vote on some ideas councilman Billy Hewes has to raise money for the financiallly strapped city.

For a long time now, Hewes has been saying he thinks the city needs to hear what the residents think of his proposals. At Tuesday's council meeting, Hewes asked his fellow council members to vote in favor of a non binding referendum to appear on the November election ballot.

It would ask Gulfport residents what they think of a local option sales tax to raise money. It would also ask for a yes or no vote on putting a hotel casino complex in or near Jones Park. Finally, it would ask for a yes or no vote on selling Memorial Hospital.

After about 30 minutes of discussion, the council voted five to two, not to put the ideas on the ballot. Only Hewes and councilman Chuck Teston favored the idea.

City attorney Harry Hewes said the proposal had some major legal concerns. Council member Kim Savant said he applauded Hewe's efforts to raise revenue, but did not think he was going about it the right way.