Biloxi City Council meets for first time since Holloway absence - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi City Council meets for first time since Holloway absence

Photo from city hall with most current city council members (Image Source: WLOX News) Photo from city hall with most current city council members (Image Source: WLOX News)
Acting mayor, Ward two Councilman Felix Gines, shaking hands (Image Source: WLOX News) Acting mayor, Ward two Councilman Felix Gines, shaking hands (Image Source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

As we've previously reported, Biloxi Mayor AJ Holloway entered an alcohol rehabilitation program last week. In his absence, Ward 2 Councilman Felix Gines has been appointed acting mayor.

Tuesday night's Biloxi City Council meeting started with an invocation, as usual, but this time a prayer was said for Holloway.

“We pray for Mayor AJ Holloway and his family who are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” said the Rev. Linda Giardelli.

Holloway entered an alcohol rehabilitation program last week. In his absence, Gines has been appointed acting mayor, but at this meeting, Gines fulfilled his role as Ward 2 councilman, and the mayor's seat sat empty.

“The mayor has been absent from city council meetings before, and I think one of the most important things to remember is that it's called a city council meeting. It's not a mayor meeting,” said Vincent Creel, who is the Biloxi Public Affairs Manager.

Gines did however fulfill some mayoral roles, such as shaking the hands of school children who were invited to the meeting to receive awards from a school contest. That has been one of the easiest parts of his job, so far.

“It's been kind of a wild ride, very enjoyable, meet a whole lot of people. Of course, learning a whole lot about our city, a lot about our people, and definitely our staff. The resiliency of our staff, mainly,” said Gines.

During Council President Kenny Glavan's report, he commended Gines for the great job he has done during this difficult time for the city.

“I think Felix has stepped up with some extraordinary leadership, and we'll support him every step of the way,” said Glavan.

Right now, there is no word on how long Holloway will be out of the office, but the Creel says he is dearly missed.

“Everybody knows that his presence still looms large over this building, and I think what everybody also is thinking about that day when the mayor returns. He's going to want to know what's been happening and what have you done in my absence,” said Creel.

Holloway is in an alcohol rehabilitation program in Hattiesburg, and Gines can stay in the position of acting mayor as long as he is absent.

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