Jackson County Leaders Say Co-operation Is Key To Economic Success

From the banks of Ocean Springs to the Alabama/Mississippi state line, Jackson County leaders believe the best way to help the entire county improve is by working together.

"I think it's time to stop working so much about me, and think about us," Clark Warden said. He is the new Chairman for the Chamber of Commerce, and he wants leaders in all four Jackson County cities to start sharing long-term plans and even money to help the entire county.

"I think duplication is a waste of monetary resources, a waste of time resources, and often times puts out a completing environment."

An environment of competition, according to most elected officials, has hurt the working relationship between the four cities and the unincorporated areas. Pascagoula's Mayor Joe Cole says competition is healthy as long as it doesn't hurt the county.

"There has been some hard feels between Gautier and Pascagoula, and we clearly have to work hard as elected officials to break those barriers down," Mayor Cole said. "We going to compete with the other municipalities but before we let them get out of Jackson County I want to see them in Gautier or Moss Point or one of the unincorporated areas, that's good for all of us."

Like the new high rise bridge on Hwy. 90, county leaders say their retreat is a concrete step toward bridging gaps that have existed between communities and a reminder that all their futures are connected.