Mayors smart to pool resources on housing

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

It’s a question on many minds as we look to the future of hurricane relief: What about housing?

Mayors of the Miss-Lou’s three largest cities tried to answer that question as best they could this week, meeting with other stakeholders in the relief effort to try to plot and plan an uncertain future.

The mayors, and many others involved, have been frustrated by a lack of information from official agencies.

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With so many resources concentrated on the coast and New Orleans, Natchez and the Miss-Lou have been largely left alone in the aftermath of Katrina &045;&045; except for the massive effort by national Red Cross workers in town this week to help with distribution of one-time relief checks.

That Natchez has been left alone is frustrating for those of us here, but understandable when you look at the larger picture in the three states affected by Katrina.

The fact is, we’ve been faring well, not just because we were lucky to be unharmed by the hurricane but also because we’ve had so many people working and volunteering long hours to get a difficult job done.

But the mayors are right: We need answers about the future.

And our leaders are smart to get together to make a plan &045;&045; or at least to try to determine what others’ plans are for us.

There is work being done on long-term plans, including the arrival of mobile homes and trailers being installed this week at a park in Vidalia. But communication about who will live there and when has not yet filtered down to our local officials.

Natchez Mayor Phillip West suggested the group pool their efforts and clout to get advice from the federal government &045;&045; a smart move.

It doesn’t seem right that they should have to push and prod to get answers, but in the aftermath of the most overwhelming natural disaster to hit the nation in a century, that’s simply what it’s going to take.