Basically Tommy Gollott says if Biloxi has money to spend on the course, it has money for a new road.
City and county leaders want lawmakers to okay a public vote on a one cent sales tax increase to pay for east/west road. Gollot says the city has to choose which it wants.
"I believe the city of Biloxi should spend the money on right of ways for the east-west corridor, rather than buying an expensive golf course that could cost more than $10 million," Gallott says. "I cannot believe what I'm reading, that it's not going to cost taxpayers any money for the golf course, that they won't have to pay additional taxes. The money has to come from some place."
To the people who are pushing for a "yes" vote on Biloxi's purchase of the Edgewater Bay Golf Course, Gollott's comments are very discouraging. Leo Burton, President of Citizens for Smart Development, says what really bothers him is that the information Gollott and other opponents are putting out is wrong.
"It's not a $10 million purchase, and that's what Mr. Gollott said today," Burton says. "It's a $7.7 million purchase, and there's no need for $2 million to be spent to bring the golf course up to speed. It can be done with revenue from the golf course."
Ward 6 Councilmember Tom Wall says Gollott is giving the city an ultimatum: golf course or east west road.
"Absolutely, he's trying to hold us hostage," Wall says. "He already said that we'll either do it his way, or he won't support us in the legislature, in the Senate."
The mayor says the legislature has no stake in the city's purchase of the golf course A.J. Holloway says it's not fair for Gollott to hold a new road over the city's head.
" This is too big for the city of Biloxi, it's too big for the county, it's too big for each city, so we have to work together on that to get the east/west road all the way around," Holloway says.
Regardless of Gollott's opinion, all three men say they think Biloxi voters won't be swayed either way.
"When Mr. Gollott, a well known poltician in this area, comes out and makes a statement like that, it certainly doesn't bode well for us," Burton says. "But I think by and large, the citizens of Biloxi will make their own minds up whether this is a worthwhile project."