No More Talk About Jones Park

Hardly a week goes by without us reporting on Jones Park in Gulfport. The city council has debated for more than a year on what to do to improve the park. But now you won't be hearing so much about it. City Attorney Harry Hewes has advised the council that since there is a lawsuit pending against the city over Jones Park, it is best that councilmembers no longer talk about it.

That advice follows a meeting yesterday between federal Judge Dan Russell, who is hearing the case, and the attorneys on both sides. Judge Russell reminded both sides that the case is still pending and even when a decision is made, it could be appealed, so the less publicity about it, the better. Councilmember Billy Hewes says there should be a public vote on putting a casino in Jones Park, his fellow council-members disagree. It was expected that Hewes would bring up the issue again at this afternoon's council meeting. But ironically, it wasn't Hewes who talked about Jones Park, but rather a citizen.

The lawsuit was filed by the Jones family heirs in June of last year. The Jones family deeded the park to the city and their suit claims that the city is not living up to the terms of its lease agreement. Councilman Hewes says upon the advice of their lawyer, they will no longer discuss the park until the case goes to trial next March.