Panola shorted even with full representation
The untimely death of State Representative Leonard Morris leaves Panola Countians under represented during this legislative session.
There is no provision in the state constitution that would allow a temporary replacement to be appointed for District 11. Instead a special election must be held. Given the 20 days notice required for the special election and the fact that when we checked on Thursday no decision by the governor had been made about the date of a special election, it is apparent that many of us will technically not be represented during this session. State Representatives Warner McBride and Clara Burnett and Senator Nolan Mettetal are attempting to pitch in for those formerly represented by Morris, but there is no substitute for numbers, and we will be down by one for much of this session.
And even when we had full representation, we seemed to be getting shorted by the state.
Consider the project to relieve east-west traffic flow through Panola County on Highway 6. After many hearings about various alternatives, we were told that we could expect relief with some alternative by the year 2012. Now after more hearings we’re told not to expect any relief for Highway 6 traffic congestion before the year 2017.
Initially, they told us in Panola County that we would have to wait until corridors leading to the casinos in Tunica could be widened for safer flow of traffic there. We waited.
Then came Hurricane Katrina, and we were told we would have to wait until highway and bridge infrastructure repair could be completed on the coast. That’s understandable.
Now we’re told that because of unprecedented increases in construction costs due to fuel prices increases and other factors, we will need to wait a decade more.