Gulfport residents express budget, Smart Code concerns

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport held its monthly forum Tuesday. The new meetings allow residents to voice their concerns on what's happening in the city.

Until recently, residents were able to address council during the bi-weekly meetings. However, with a new administration and a five new council members, things have changed.

Mayor George Schloegel and the entire council and administration say they are committed to the citizens and their concerns.

"None of your property taxes are expected to go up for this year. Not one single penny," Mayor Schloegel said.

People who live in Gulfport had plenty to say when it comes to the state of their city. Nearly half of the crowd attending Tuesday night's meeting wanted to weigh in on Smart Code. Many said the plan needs amending to better fit the city.

"It's not advisable to go in and establish a code that's non-congruent with what's there," one Gulfport resident said.

Others said the budget is the hot topic in their neighborhoods.

"The people in my neighborhood, they follow my lead. I want y'all to know that," a Gaston Point resident said. "The next morning they came to me and said, 'What the heck is going on here? What happened?'"

This Gaston Point woman said things have changed for the better in her community, but with overtime, she's concerned they won't stay that way for long.

While there were plenty of concerns at the second of a series of regularly scheduled meetings. City leaders and department managers offered just as many solutions.

They said they welcome public input and feedback, but what they don't want is misinformation getting out to people who live and work in the city of Gulfport.

"When you hear the rumors on the street, when you read the rumors on Facebook and through your email, question where you saw it," Councilman Rusty Walker said.

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