February 7, 2008
Gov. Haley Barbour needs to talk directly to the people of South Mississippi about the status of the recovery process and other issues.
And he should do so soon.
What does he need to talk about?
First: How does he justify the allocation - or reallocation - of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid? The governor has championed pouring money into expanding the port in Gulfport instead of spending more money for housing. He even thinks things are going so well in South Mississippi that some recovery money can be used to build a road in North Mississippi. But many are wary of this diversion of funds. If the governor has the facts and figures to prove that the needs in the coastal counties have been or are being met, then he needs to come here and confront his critics.
Second: The governor should share his thoughts on making insurance coverage more available and affordable. Is he interested in a regional approach? Is he lobbying senators - and the president - for a federal response, such as a national multi-peril policy?
Third: Why is the governor so sold on using the Pascagoula River and the Mississippi Sound to flush out a salt dome at Richton? Many of his constituents are alarmed at the proposal and are stunned that the governor says simply: trust the system.
South Mississippians need to personally hear the governor make his case on these and other matters. And they need to hear from him soon.
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Thursday, February 07, 2008