Editorial: Progress Hattiesburg

It is inspiring and needful to see Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree and the City Council come together on what appears to be a very thoughtful plan to address the infrastructure needs of a rapidly growing regional, retail, educational, medical, industrial and military center like the city of Hattiesburg has come to be.

The city has long outgrown its road structure and streets, sidewalks, drainage, water and sewer system. Something badly needs to be done, and all the Mayor and Council are asking for is a chance for the residents of the town to be allowed to vote on a 1 cent sales tax increase on certain items for either a three-year period or until $30 million dollars to complete the projects is raised - whichever comes first.

Many items would not be taxed, and information has been put in the public's hands outlining what those items will be. Two steps have been achieved to allow the people to vote on the issue, the city council's approval and the governor's promised approval.

The legislature now has to approve allowing the people to vote, and 60 percent of Hattiesburg voters have to vote in favor of what Mayor Dupree has dubbed "Progress Hattiesburg."

We urge the legislature to give the people the right to decide their own destiny. While we're at it, we'd like to give kudos to Mayor Dupree for finally doing away with the parking meters downtown. We've been calling for that for years. It is a limited time trial, so let's not abuse it.

I'm Jim Cameron and that's today's editorial viewpoint. Let us here from you.

To contact Jim Cameron email jcameron@wdam.com