A meeting with city officials about flooding problems in Turkey Creek is nothing new to North Gulfport. But Monday night's meeting at Forrest Heights Missionary Baptist Church was a first. It was the first time Mayor Ken Combs has had a public forum in that area since calling those who oppose development in Turkey Creek "dumb bastards".
The church's Pastor, Reverend George Rouse, said he welcomed the meeting and the Mayor with open arms.
"Jesus said, 'He who is without sin, cast the first stone.' I just feel like casting stones isn't going to resolve anything," Rouse said.
The Reverend says he certainly doesn't agree with the Mayor's inflammatory comments, but that he didn't expect, or ask for, an apology. Still, that's the first thing Mayor did.
"I do apologize. I apologize to everyone present tonight for insensitive words directed at environmentalist that are stopping economic progress in the City of Gulfport," Mayor Combs said.
The Mayor then moved on to city business, showing residents why there are so many flooding problems in Turkey Creek. Problems like many 90 degree turns, narrowing of the creek, and the most troubling part - piles of debris and fallen trees literally blocking the water's flow.
Fixing these problems will now be the big chore, one city engineers are already working on with the help of the corps of engineers.
"Everything went real good tonight. I feel like we should just try to work together and move on from this and let's get some work done now instead of just talking about it. Let's get some work done, not just in Forrest Heights, but in Turkey Creek itself," Turkey Creek resident Warren Howard said.
If you missed Monday's meeting, there is another public forum to address the flooding in Turkey Creek. It will take place Thursday, May 8th, at the Isiah Fredericks Community Center in North Gulfport at 6 p.m.