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Picayune really is home, sweet home

By Ed Pinero

Guest Columnist 

Many years ago, as I was heading off to college, a friend told me I will return to Picayune. I looked at him with disbelief. As a young man, I thought a college degree would expose me to big city ideas and open up the world for me to explore. As I traveled the world living in large cities and small Caribbean islands it became clear these places where better to visit than to call home.

What seemed inconsequential in my younger years is what most mature people long for, Quality Of Life. The definitions of quality of life can be complex and extensive. Let’s focus on crime, real estate and education.

Pearl River County has seen tremendous growth in the past 20 years. People move here to escape high crime cities, flood prone lands and failing school districts.

As elected officials and citizens we need to support law enforcement and make sure it has the funding and citizen support it needs. Do you ever walk down a street in Pearl River County fearful for your life? Not in Pearl River County! Next time you see a police officer or sheriff’s deputy take a moment to say Thanks!

Our county has numerous options for zoning and land-use regulations. If you want zoning and land-use regulations, you may live in Picayune and Poplarville or a subdivision with covenants. If you want limited regulations without zoning, you may live in our rural communities where you have the right to do whatever you want with your land within reason. Just remember, your neighbor has the same freedom, rights and privileges to do what they want with their land.

Pearl River County has three great public school districts and many great private schools, each working hard to educate children. Nothing can be good enough for our children or grandchildren. Our three public schools districts have listened to citizens’ concerns and have implemented processes to improve. No matter what school you choose, our teachers and administrators are well educated, well intended individuals. They are doing their best to help you sculpt your children into successful individuals. We have great teachers and administrators throughout Pearl River County and they should be thanked more often than criticized. Pearl River County has an abundance of successful graduates of our school systems. Our children are going to be successful because of the foundation they receive in school and your influence as parents.

Praise needs to be extended to former Mayor Woody Spiers whose administration had the foresight to plant trees throughout Picayune, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors for implementing the Pearl River County cleanup campaign and to Friends of Boley Creek for saving one of our natural resources.

Well my friend was right. I did return and have never left. I just visit the lovely spots where I once lived. The quality of life in Pearl River County is something that should make you proud.I love Pearl River County and I am proud to live here!