Here’s snippets of what people said and did at the Gulfport City Council meeting.
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Here’s some outtakes from the Sept. 6 Gulfport City Council meeting.

About the City of Gulfport Budget

“For the 11th consecutive year we have maintained the millage rate.” –City Manager Jim O’Reilly

“We’re happy.” –an unidentified audience member, making the only public comment on the millage

“We are happy to give you a balanced budget once again and to keep providing the level of services the community has become accustomed to.” –City Manager Jim O’Reilly

“It’s always a great document and I know you worked really hard. We appreciate the work that goes into it from you and your staff.” –Vice Mayor Christine Brown (Ward II)

“With a lot of moving targets.” –Mayor Sam Henderson 

“If anyone ever chooses to look at it, I’m happy to lend you my copy so you can.” –Councilmember April Thanos (Ward I), to residents

About Short-Term Rentals

“I had a new house built next to me by Winway. It has been a problem since it was built. It was turned into a duplex after it was given its occupancy permit and is now being short-term rented as a duplex … They’ve opened up a car wash and detail business in the house, and it is advertised on Google with that address. The owners of the house also have a car dealership in Clearwater, and they’re buying and selling cars at this location in Gulfport. They’re also doing body work there.” –Bob McKenna during public comment

About Gulfport’s Property and Casualty Insurance

“We were for our numbers on property and casualty. This is essentially homeowners insurance. We did see a climb of about 14%, which is the industry standard. It is accounted for within the budget.” – City Manager Jim O’Reilly

“We need it.” –Councilmember Christine Brown (Ward II), after the council approved renewing the policy

”It protects you, too.” –City Attorney Andrew Salzman, to Brown

On the Purchase of a New Fire Truck

“I’m just sad we have to wait a year and a half, but it’ll be a 2024.” –Vice Mayor Brown

“That’s kind of early these days.” –Attorney Salzman to Vice-Mayor Brown

About GeckoFest

“It [GeckoFest] was a really good time. I was super impressed when we had the unveiling of McFly. It was nice to see so many people out to see it, too. I think it’s a great addition to the city.” –Councilmember Paul Ray, Ward III

“It [GeckoFest] was great. It was so much fun. Everything was perfect. There was no rain, it was breezy; it was hot but there was a breeze. The unveiling of the statue was so much fun. I was surprised at how many people came out, but that’s Gulfport. The chamber did a great job with the whole month of Gecko stuff. Great statue; such a wonderful addition.” –Brown

About the Heat

“Be careful outside. We tend to get a little too used to [the heat] this time of the year. Be cognizant of your pets, making sure they have water and all those good things. Remember to think about how hot those surfaces are if you’re going for a walk and taking them out on the concrete or the asphalt. I’ve got my fingers crossed for some nights that get down in the mid-70s sometime soon.” –Mayor Henderson

About the Neighborhood Near Trolley Market Square Mark

“With the transformation of this greenway to a beautiful park and event venue – thank you to the City for all your hard work – we at SO49 have decided that we are now going to refer to that area as Trolley Market District, which is more reflective of what we now have.” –SO49 president Jeri Reed.  City Manager O’Reilly told The Gabber the change would have to occur organically, meaning the City will not change the name of the area unless businesses and residents in that area call for change.

About Pinellas Forward

“Have we thought about extending it all the way to the water, since we have had people drive off the end?” –Councilwoman Thanos

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