South Mississippians Voice Opinions On Future

Five years of family treasures and fond memories now lie in a huge pile on Clara Mecum's property in Pass Christian.

"It was nothing. Everything off the block," said Mecum.

Clara Mecum's home sat 13 feet above sea level. And as the city, along with the rest of the Mississippi Gulf Coast plans to rebuild and tries to comply with FEMA's recommended elevation levels, she says she does not want her home to sit any higher.

"Mother Nature come in I don't care how high, when Mother Nature comes in with that water, rain,wind, you can't do anything about it. You really can't," said Mecum.

Hundreds of people echoed those and other concerns at the Governor's Commission "Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal" town hall meeting Wednesday evening.

Concerned residents voiced their opinions about ideas that came out of the renewal forum last week.

For two hours, they asked questions concerning land use, transportation, and public service, and the commission definitely took notes.

"They want a more livable, walkable area. They want the kinds of things that we talked about in the charette process. The want a highway 90 boulevard that is beautiful and more accessible to the public, a more walkable boulevard," said meeting chairman Anthony Topazi.

Every concern was documented to possibly make changes as the commission prepares to submit its final report to Governor Barbour on December 9th.

Clara Mecum says she wants to rebuild on her property and says she will comply with whatever the regulations order, but she wants the commission to consider there is such a thing as building too high.

"I like what they're trying to do. I really do. Rebuilding. Everything is going to be new, look new. I like that," said Mecum.

Other meetings throughout South Mississippi are scheduled for the near future. However, times and dates have not been announced.