I’ve been a fan of George Flaggs since 2013 when he and I competed in the Mayor’s race. Vicksburg was at a crossroads, and the future of our city was at stake. When I entered that race, I believed I had a chance. However, once Flaggs and Fondren joined the race, it was clear that there was no way for the votes to favor me. So, I did what I could to ensure that we had a new mayor and achieved the best results for our city.
I had a couple of main priorities. One was to address the decaying infrastructure and direct funds to capital expenditures. It was necessary to invest in these areas so that our water, sewer, and roads wouldn’t disintegrate. The “Aqualypse” of 2017 (#aqualypse2017) largely occurred because we had long ignored our infrastructure. While it wasn’t a sexy issue that attracted a lot of attention, it was a problem that needed addressing. Mayor Flaggs has gone after these issues in an intelligent and cost-effective way.
Another priority was to change the leadership at the Convention Center. It had become the epicenter of several controversies and needed fresh leadership. Mayor Flaggs promptly appointed Annette Kirkland, who rapidly transformed the center.
The economic development team and the efforts that assembled under Flaggs are world-class and have become a major factor in improving our community. Such change is a slow process, but we are steering the ship in the right direction, and the economic benefits will manifest in our community. While our children will enjoy most of these benefits, we will witness them unfolding over the next few years and decades.
Flaggs’ connections with state and federal governments have brought millions of dollars to our community, helping people across the economic spectrum. Few individuals could accomplish what he has because few possess the connections he has.
Our downtown area has undergone a complete transformation since Mayor Flaggs assumed office in 2013. I remember a ghost town with vacant buildings and storefronts downtown. It was bleak, and the future looked bleak. Today, you can hardly find a parking spot with the arrival of new restaurants, shops and apartments. Much of the credit goes to Mayor Flaggs.
However, crime remains an issue.
It is becoming such a problem that it is, in my opinion, threatening the future of our city. To deny that crime, and the perception of crime is an issue is delusional.
Mayor Flaggs, you’ve succeeded in almost every endeavor you’ve undertaken in Vicksburg. For the future of our city, please take responsibility, accept it, and lead us out of this predicament. You have a willing community and a large number of supporters ready to help you.
However, if you expect me or the Vicksburg Daily News to promote an agenda and mislead the public, you will be disappointed.
The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging its existence.
Mayor Flaggs, for the future of our community, please take the lead in resolving this problem.
(For the record, I am not running for Mayor and have no interest in running for mayor and will not run for Mayor in the future. Mayor Flaggs requested the interview conducted Monday, August 7 at noon.)See a typo? Report it here.