Here is some of what we overheard at the Gulfport City Council May 16 meeting.
About Everyone Getting Along
“There is somebody on Facebook who keeps trashing you – that you just all can’t get along, and you all need to grow up and behave. You know what? That’s why we all get along, because everybody has an opinion … and you listen to it. That’s Gulfport; that’s what it’s all about. I’ve lived here over 40 years. I love you all, and I’m still going to volunteer. You can’t get rid of me.” —Francine Whitten
About Womens’ Rights
“I can only imagine the frustration that each and every one of you feel about home rule and the changes that are being made in every [state legislature] session. I can’t imagine being in your place and wanting to take care of things, and the State telling you that you can’t. That being said, I feel that same anger and frustration when it comes to women’s reproductive rights and reproductive healthcare.” —Karen Love
About Fire Ops 101
“I went to Fire Ops 101, which was very, very interesting. Actually, it was a lot of fun. Almost 75 pounds of gear you have to wear – whew. But it was a lot of fun. Anyone who gets a chance to do it ought to do it. The best workout you’ll ever get in your life, because you have to walk up and down stairs and carry a hose, and those hoses aren’t light and don’t bend easily, either. Thanks to the Gulfport fire personnel who were there and helped me suit up — even though one of them tried to kill me when he didn’t turn my oxygen on.” —Vice Mayor Paul Ray (Ward III)
“I want to apologize for not being able to go to Fire Ops 101, and I probably would have died because I’m not fit, either. My wife did say I was a bit crazy for even mentioning I would attend.” —Councilmember Ian O’Hara (Ward IV)
“I went to Fire Ops as well with the CERT team. I do have pictures [of Paul Ray] if anyone wants to see them. He did a great job and was a real trooper. We had fun and it’s a great experience for sure.” – Councilmember Christine Brown (Ward II)
Other Random Topics
“I went to the VPK graduation [at the recreation center], and it was adorable. The teachers there are clearly doing a fabulous job, and it was just a pleasure to see all of these little kids. It takes me back – to seeing little kids doing all of these performances where even if they do it terribly, it’s fabulous.” – Councilmember April Thanos (Ward I)
“I want to thank everyone who came out for the Denise-a-Palooza Tour at Tiki. It was amazing. About 475 people arrived. We had a special guest star – our chief of the fire department showed up with his lovely daughter.” – O’Hara
“It’s National Police Month, so if you see one of our police officers, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate them. Today [May 16] was graduation [at Boca Ciega High School] and we put 336 graduates out on the streets, so watch out because they’re coming. They’re going to need jobs, too, for the summer.” – Brown
View the council meeting here.