Gulfport Council Speaks Out About Commission Vote - - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Council Speaks Out About Commission Vote

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Gulfport city council members are speaking out about Tuesday night's vote on the newly created development commission.

Council members approved Carol Lynne Meadows, E.J. Roberts and Don Mason to serve on the new commission. But the council's vote against making well-known businessman George Schloegel a part of the board is what people are talking about.

"I was totally surprised. I was totally surprised," said Ward 2 Councilwoman Libby Milner-Roland.

When it came time to make Schloegel a part of the development commission, Councilman Brian Carriere abstained while Neil Resh, Ella Holmes-Hines and Barbara Nalley voted "no."

"It was nothing personal against Mr. Schloegel. I've known him for a very long time. I like him as a person. I just feel that there is a conflict," said Nalley.

Both Hines and Nalley are concerned with Schloegel's business relationship with the city of Gulfport.

"He is extremely large and I was very much worried about Hancock Bank being a depository for the city of Gulfport that if we could be above reproach with that," Hines said.

"I feel that Mr. Schloegel is extremely close to the administration. I feel that this board needs to be an impartial board. That's why I suggested strongly to the mayor that he take suggestions from council members and that it would be a diverse section of appointees from across the city," said Nalley.

The mayor says he did acknowledge council's suggestions and he felt strongly that Schloegel should be on that board. But with Tuesday's vote, that may not happen. Councilwoman Roland agrees with the mayor that Schloegel would have been a great choice.

"He is familiar with dealing with these huge developers. I'm talking major league, international developers. And I don't know who else has this much expertise and has been doing it as long as he has, that is actually a Gulfport resident," Roland said.

Libby Roland says because of the tie vote, one of the council members who voted against George Schloegel can bring the issue back up before the council to be reconsidered. She's hoping someone will do that during the next council meeting on July 8th.

By Elise Roberts

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