Senator Wicker Holds First Town Hall Meeting - - The News for South Mississippi

Senator Wicker Holds First Town Hall Meeting

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- There was plenty up for discussion Wednesday night as Senator Roger Wicker held his first town hall meeting on the coast. Wicker said he wanted to hear first hand what the major concerns are among South Mississippians.

One of the evening's hot topics was the price of gas.

"It is a basic law of economics 101," said Senator Wicker.

It's the basic principle of supply and demand. That's how Senator Wicker explained the recent upward trend in gas prices. Along with the questions, he was also presented a few solutions.

"I think we as a country would do a better job of getting it out of the ground, finding, moving it and all the things that go with it and leave less of a footprint than the rest of the world," said one Gulfport resident.

The senator agrees.

"If we had followed the advice of some people in this room 13 years ago, maybe we wouldn't have the high gas prices that we have today," Wicker said.

He says former President Bill Clinton's decision to veto the drilling of crude oil in Alaska was a bad idea. That why he supports a new clean energy independence bill to drill in Anwar, Alaska.

On a different topic, Wicker supports the federal government stepping in to help with the insurance crisis.

"A lot of things that we are discussing impact the coast more than a lot of other areas," Wicker said.

Residents say they are tired of sky-rocketing insurance costs.

"I feel like we just jump hoop after hoop after hoop, and they just keep hitting us," said one Biloxi business owner.

Senator Wicker, along with Congressman Gene Taylor and other legislators, are taking a different approach to the multi-perils legislation so that South Mississippians and other coastal residents can afford to live on or near the beachfront.

"There's an old southern saying: There's more than one way to skin a cat. We're going to get it done," Wicker said.

There were several other topics mentioned at Wednesday's meeting.

Residents hoping to save the downtown Gulfport library building asked Senator Wicker to support their fight by signing a petition. However, Senator Wicker said it's an issue that should be dealt with at the local level and did not sign the petition.

Senator Wicker will hold several more town hall meetings across the state. The next is Thursday in Stone County.

By Elise Roberts

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