Possible city of Bellevue residents react to incorporation announcement

Possible city of Bellevue residents react to incorporation announcement

If the city of Bellevue is incorporated into Lamar County, a little more than 6,200 people would be living in a new city.

Bellevue's city leaders now have to get signatures from 66 percent of registered voters, or about 2,000 people, in the proposed area on an incorporation petition to move forward with incorporation plans.

"We believe that when we go out and we're able to show people what we've found and the work that we've done and what we believe we can do as a city, that we're going to have much higher support than two-thirds of registered voters," said John Adcock, the mayor of the future city.

Lamar County residents who would become Bellevue citizens have mixed opinions about becoming a new city and signing the petition.

"I think it would be a good idea to kind of break away from Hattiesburg as far as having our own city," said Butch Guy.

"I don't want to be part of a city," said another Lamar County resident.

"I've heard a few things. I've heard some good things, but I would want more information before I would vote on it, Nancy Hughes said,

Hughes said she wants to know how becoming a city would impact her taxes, which is not included in the petition. Also not included are a city budget or salaries for the mayor and alderpeople.

Bellevue's attorney, Chad Mask, said that is not unusual. He said he has never seen an incorporation petition with that kind of financial information. Mask said those are decisions for a city board once the city becomes a legal entity, but Chis Rohr is just on resident who said he would not sign the petition without knowing a budget and salaries.

Chuck Hawkins, on the other hand, said not knowing city employee pay doesn't bother him at all.

"It doesn't matter what you pay those people," Hawkins said. "They're going to earn every nickel they get."

Another concern brought up by residents was the appointment of city leaders. One resident said he would like to know how long this current board would serve as unelected officials and when there would be an election for Bellevue city government positions.