SW Miss. voices can be heard during ideas tour

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, September 30, 2012

Upon further review, state leaders will mine for ideas in Southwest Mississippi after all.

     When House Speaker Philip Gunn announced his “Mississippi Solutions – An Ideas Tour” itinerary early last week, Southwest Mississippi locations were curiously absent from the list.

     Early October stops were announced for Jackson, Greenwood, Hernando, Tupelo, Columbus, Meridian, Hattiesburg and Biloxi. All are certainly worthy stops, and officials in those places probably have good ideas that can contribute to fixing Mississippi’s economic ills.

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     But to be fair, people in Southwest Mississippi communities like Brookhaven, McComb and Natchez have ideas, too, and it was disappointing that this part of the state appeared to have been left out again when it comes to opportunities for economic improvement. The closest tour stop to Southwest Mississippi was Hattiesburg.

     Upon recognizing the slight, Brookhaven was chosen and added as a tour stop for Southwest Mississippi. The event is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. at the State Room.

     “Southwest Mississippi is incredibly important to the state of Mississippi, and we are eager to hear their ideas about how we can move Mississippi forward,” Gunn said in announcing the addition. “We have so many wonderful representatives from this area who do so many great things for the state. We want to make sure Southwest Mississippians’ voices are heard during the tour, as well.”

     It was perhaps a belated realization, but it is good to know that all areas of the state will have an opportunity to share improvement ideas with Speaker Gunn and other leaders.

     We encourage area participation in the Oct. 12 meeting so our voice can be shared.