Gulfport, Mississippi

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Transparency grading process

Gulfport is the second largest city in Mississippi after the state capital Jackson. It is the larger of the two principal cities of the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area[1], which is included in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city of Gulfport had a total population of 67,793. Gulfport is co-county seat with Biloxi of Harrison County, Mississippi. Gulfport is also the East Coast home to the US Navy Seabees[2].

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Mississippi city websites

This evaluation was last updated on: an unknown date.

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 7 years.[3]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[4]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[5]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 123 years.[6]
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 3 years.[7]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2002 are available.[3]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[8]
  • Public Records
    • Public records are handled by the City Clerk. The website provides contact information and a request form with information regarding fees.[9]
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[10]
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[11]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.[12]
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[13]

The bad

  • Administrative Officials
    • Some department pages do not list department heads, phone numbers, or personalized emails.
  • Meetings
    • Meeting schedule is not available.
  • Lobbying
    • If the county engaged in lobbying actives or if it's a member of government lobbying associations are not disclosed. Nor is the total cost lobbying activities or membership dues for associations available.

Elected Officials

Current City Council members can be found on the city website.[14]

The current Mayor is George Schloegel.[15]

Administration

The Office of the Chief Administrator serves as a vital link between the Mayor’s Office, City Council, department directors and other entities to facilitate outcomes consistent with the overall vision and mission of the City of Gulfport. The CAO oversees the city’s more than 20 departments and is responsible for oversight and management of city operations, ensuring efficiency, accountability and productivity in the city’s commitment to deliver quality services through the daily operations of municipal government.[16]

General Responsibilities of the Office:[16]

  • Implements executive and legislative policy relative to city staff and services.
  • Oversees the functions of city departments and coordinates with department directors and management personnel.
  • Maintains stability among municipal services and strategic planning, budgeting, and comprehensive and capital programming, and performance accountability.
  • Enforces fiscal policy and monitors, with the assistance of the Chief Financial Officer, the accuracy of financial reports, preparation and adoption of annual budgets, and examines and reviews spending and revenues to ensure a healthy financial condition for Gulfport.
  • Coordinates the presentation and dissemination of administrative business that is to be presented by city staff through the mayor to the City Council.
  • Monitors contract compliance and expenditures with department directors to insure fiscal responsibility and timely completion of capital projects.
  • Serves as point of contact in the executive branch on non-legal matters, responds to requests and inquiries from the City Council, other city offices and department directors.

Budget

Budget summary of revenues and expenses:[17]

2010
Budget
2011
Budget
Total Revenues $290,766,302 $206,197,225
Total Expenses $300,624,164 $219,873,653

Sales Tax

Sales Tax Revenue is a primary source of revenue for the City of Gulfport representing 20% of total revenue collected. It is also an accurate measure of economic growth. The state of Mississippi levies a general sales tax of 7% on most retail sales. Of this amount, each municipality receives 18.5% of the amount collected within its corporate borders.[10]

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Emergency Services

Fire

The Gulfport Fire Department, established in 1902, provides around the clock fire protection and rescue services for our citizens and visitors of Gulfport. Operating out of eleven fire stations, throughout the city, these fire fighters respond to a wide array of emergency calls. These calls include: structure fires, aircraft emergency, hazardous materials accidents, emergency medical calls, and marine emergencies.[18]

Police

The Gulfport Police Department provides traditional police services to the citizens of Gulfport, MS. The Gulf Coast Beaches, Casino Gaming, Fishing, Golf, The University of Southern Mississippi, William Carey College and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College are just some of the area attractions. Sitting on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Gulfport Police Department has 201 sworn personnel and 92 civilian staff to serve a population of 80,000 and a daily population of over 144,000.[19]

Gulfport Police Officers responded to 169,030 calls for service in 2010. This represents a 6% decrease in calls for service when compared to 2009 in which Officers responded to 180,213 calls for service to the public. Officers documented 20,894 Incident Reports during 2010 compared to 22,044 in 2009.[20]

Crimes decreased 20% when compared to the previous five-year average. Violent Crimes as a whole increased by 6% in 2010 when compared to 2009. Total violent crimes have decreased 32% compared to the previous five year average. More specifically, Homicides have remained the same in 2010 compared to 2009 where 6 were reported each year. Homicides have decreased by 25% when compared to the previous five year average. Aggravated assaults increased 81% compared to 2009 but decreased 17% compared to the previous five-year average. Robberies are down 26% in 2010 compared to 2009 and were down 47% compared to the previous five-year average. Reported Rapes have increased by four during 2010 compared to 2009 but have decreased 12% compared to the previous five year average.[20]

Total property crimes for 2010 remained unchanged when compared to 2009 but decreased 19% when compared to the previous five-year average. Larcenies increased 3% compared to the same time period of 2009. Burglaries decreased 8% when compared to 2009. Auto thefts remained unchanged in 2010 compared to 2009. In addition, larcenies were down 15%, auto thefts were down 50%, and burglaries were down 22%, when compared to their respective previous five-year averages.[20]

Crime 2010 <br Total 2009
Total
% Change 5-Yr Ave. % Change
Violent Crimes 160 151 6% 238 -33%
Murder 6 6 0% 8 -25%
Rape 22 18 22% 25 -12%
Robbery 67 91 -26% 127 -47%
Aggravated Assault 65 36 81% 78 -17%
Property Crimes 3,681 3,687 0% 4,536 -19%
Burglary 908 990 -8% 1,163 -22%
Larceny 2,623 2,547 3% 3,072 -15%
Auto Theft 150 150 0% 301 -50%
Total Crimes 7,682 7,676 0% 9,548 -20%

External links

References