Strategic plan meeting seeks public comments

Published 11:49 pm Saturday, January 26, 2008

A meeting will be held Thursday to gather public opinion during a review of Pearl River County’s strategic plan and its seven point building blocks.

County supervisors as well as the employees of the county planning department will be in attendance.

This meeting will be hosted by Partners for Pearl River County at the First Baptist Church of Picayune. Partners for Pearl River County director Ron Fine said he sent out about 300 invitations to people in the county. Invitees are asked to RSVP ahead of time so an accurate head count can be collected.

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This meeting is not to be confused with the comprehensive plan meetings the county holds, Fine said.

Participants will be asked to share their ideas on things they would like to see in the county with respect to the seven building blocks. Those building blocks include civic infrastructure, social infrastructure, physical infrastructure, heritage preservation, jobs, people and faith based. Land use management also will be covered to ensure that the county grows in a way acceptable to its residents.

This on-going planning process has been providing many good ideas since 2002 when it was implemented, Fine said. Some products of these meetings include the formation of Partners in Leadership and the Historical Society through the library.

Meetings have not been held during the two years since Hurricane Katrina, making Thursday’s the first since the storm, Fine said. Strategic plan meetings are generally held on a quarterly basis.

Faith-based organizations were a valuable asset in the aftermath of the storm, so discussion will take place concerning how to secure funding to help those organizations handle emergency situations.

Guest speakers will include World Vision representatives, county supervisors, and any other public officials who attend, Fine said.

A brain-storming session will take place during the meeting where residents will form committees in an effort to isolate important issues they would like to work on.

“Some ideas are quick winds, and some ideas take years to achieve,” Fine said.

Some examples of issues that may take a long time include the widening of U.S. 11, which has been a concern for years. A quick project would involve issues of litter control or beautification, Fine said.

With the participation of residents and city and county officials, goals are expected to be reached quickly.

Questions concerning the event can be directed to Community Development Coordinator Linda Pate at 601-749-4919.