Library discussion much calmer at Supervisors' meeting

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - For the second straight week, the controversial Gulfport library issue was on the agenda at the Harrison County Board of Supervisors meeting. But Monday's discussion was nothing like last week's angry exchange between the board president and members of the citizens group "We the People."

Supervisors listened politely as four different citizens shared their concerns about the Gulfport library during the public forum portion of the meeting. The group "We the People" is fighting to save the storm-damaged library building, which the county had planned to demolish.

Several residents brought questions to the board, while others just implored them to listen to citizen concerns.

"We do not take this responsibility lightly. We must save the few landmarks that remain. And bad things happen when good people do nothing," said Deborah Peterson with "We the People."

Gulfport resident Rosemary Finley said, "By ignoring the original wishes of the Jones family and their heirs, you are putting all of the land in Jones Park in jeopardy. This is the only city in our region that has this much waterfront, green space freely available to all citizens right in the middle of the city."

"We do have a right to speak. If it's an issue you don't want to hear about, you need to look and see what's bothering you about that issue. As long as it's legitimate, and this one is legitimate for the board now," Gulfport resident Eric Cox said.

Supervisors listened to the public comments, but offered no response. The fate of the old library is currently being reviewed by the federal government in what's called a "Section 106" review.

The next meeting in that process is February 26th.