Editorials

Three good ideas that came from government

Government Street starts out at Washington Avenue in Ocean Springs with a bang as businesses line each side of the street with specially placed landscaping. As the street continue east in the city, it becomes more residential and in need of the long-awaited sidewalk project that begins this month.
Government Street starts out at Washington Avenue in Ocean Springs with a bang as businesses line each side of the street with specially placed landscaping. As the street continue east in the city, it becomes more residential and in need of the long-awaited sidewalk project that begins this month.

We understand people are justifiably angry at government in general. And we haven’t been shy about questioning the wisdom of some of the actions of those in power.

But today, we have hope. Today we find reasons to agree.

Three times recently, local governments on the Coast have chosen the right path.

In Harrison County, supervisors gave the patrol officers of the Sheriff’s Office a hefty raise.

They deserve it. Every working day, they put on a badge and a gun and drive the roads of Harrison County not knowing what’s around any corner. Their families deal with much uncertainty. This sends a clear message to those men and women and their families that we value their service.

This also makes the county more competitive when it comes to attracting the best law enforcement officers. It will save money in the long haul because the Sheriff’s Office will no longer be the agency that pays to train officers, only to lose them to a higher paying job in a neighboring city.

In Hancock County, a task force has come up with a plan to transform the system that watches over its most vulnerable children.

It recommends the Board of Supervisors create a county court system administered by a full-time elected judge to hear child protection and delinquency cases.

David Baria, the head of the task force created last year to look for answers to the county’s foster-care crisis, said the county would have to pay for the new system but it would replace a costlier system, again saving money over time.

We agree with the task force and the state’s Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation Expenditure & Review, both of which concluded the county court would be more equitable. We urge the supervisors to adopt the necessary resolution and urge Gov. Phil Bryant to give it his blessing.

In Ocean Springs, city officials are listening. Alderman Jerry Dalgo said he learned about the need and desire for more sidewalks the old-fashioned way — by knocking on doors.

The people are about to get their wish. The city, state and county are spending $1.2 million to make the east end of Ocean Springs more walkable with new and better sidewalks, a crosswalk and a bridge.

So for the next six months, drivers on Government Street from Greyhound Stadium to the middle school will have to be patient as crews at times will close a lane of Government Street to get the job done.

That’s a small price to pay for such an improvement in the quality of life in what has become a residential area.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.

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