HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Harrison County School Board might see some more opposition against the upcoming school bond.
A second city council will be asked to oppose the school bond referendum. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes confirmed Thursday that he’ll draw up a resolution that says Harrison County should delay its Nov. 6 school bond vote. Otherwise, the mayor wants Gulfport to oppose the $55 million referendum.
A similar resolution appeared on the Biloxi City Council agenda earlier in the day Thursday. That resolution will also ask the county to postpone the school bond vote. Both city mayors say city students should go to city schools, and they want that discussed before any vote is taken.
Biloxi’s resolution, proposed by Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, says the Harrison County School District’s $55 million school bond was placed on the ballot without prior consultation with the City of Biloxi.
The proposal also says the Biloxi Public School District has capacity to accept some or all of the students who live in Biloxi, but also live in the Harrison County School District. That would be primarily in the northern part of the city. This could help alleviate overcrowding concerns, which was cited as a reason for the referendum.
“Thousands of residents of the City of Biloxi are within the boundaries of the Harrison County School District and would be affected by this Harrison County bond issue... part of a 15-20 year plan that has not been disclosed at this time," read part of the resolution.
“What the City of Biloxi is asking for is let’s slow down and look at this issue,” said Vincent Creel, public affairs manager for the City of Biloxi. “Mayor Gilich believes if you live in Biloxi, you should have the chance to go to Biloxi public schools without having to pay tuition. Right now if you go to Biloxi public schools and you live in Woolmarket or Eagle Point, you have to pay tuition.”
The Biloxi City Council will vote on the resolution during the Oct. 16 meeting. The meeting agenda, including the full resolution, can be found on the City of Biloxi’s website.