As city attorney, Gerald Blessey is chief legal counsel for the city. As Director of the Legal Department, Blessey manages departmental personnel and outside counsel assigned to specific legal tasks. He also advises city personnel about legal procedures and policies.
Mayor Gilich has also tasked Blessey with working with F. Cliff Kirkland, the mayor’s Chief Innovation and Development Officer, to do strategic planning for economic development. Blessey will assist in applying for economic development grants, prepare legislation for new state and federal incentives for economic growth, help facilitate new business start ups and expansion of existing business, create incentives for innovative high-tech business development citywide, and help coordinate joint economic development efforts with federal, state, and local municipal and county governments.
Blessey will assist Mayor Gilich and Kirkland in the mayor’s initiative to make Biloxi a broadband city with a minimum of one gigabit per second internet service to all businesses and residents.
Blessey, a two-term mayor of Biloxi in the 1980s and former state legislator, has practiced law in Biloxi for 49 years, with several intervals for public service, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi Law School and Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School.