Bellevue is in Your Hands

 Posted on February 26, 2016 at 02:50 PM
 Guest Column in Hattiesburg American

Since we set out on the journey to incorporate the community of Bellevue, we have made every effort to be as open and forthright with the public as is possible. We have attended countless public meetings and forums. Additionally, we have met with almost every HOA Board in the proposed area and have had numerous conversations with them about how incorporating will affect their residents. We have responded to virtually every question that has been asked through social media or on our website, and those questions and answers have been published to our website at Moreover, we have presented the public with a Five-Year Implementation Plan for the City of Bellevue that contains all of the facts and figures in regard to what the projected costs and revenues would look like if we were to incorporate today. We feel confident that anyone with an open mind and who has taken the opportunity to attend one of the many meetings we have held, will know that we are being transparent with the public. It is important to note that anyone who suggests that the information we are providing is false, is not arguing with the citizens who make up our group, but the many professionals who make a living in their respective fields and are considered experts by any reasonable standard.

However, we do understand a natural skepticism of any form of government. That skepticism and our right to it as Americans is a large part of what makes our country so special. We encourage residents who live in the proposed area to continue to ask questions and have conversations with our group. We believe that while any government may have its shortcomings, it always works best when it is in its most local form. Right now our community is governed by five county supervisors, and while we believe they do a very good job at the county level, it is a fact that the community of Bellevue is growing at a more rapid pace and has become more urbanized than any other part of Lamar County. It is also a fact that as our community continues to grow at this rapid pace, for it to remain an unincorporated part of a county forever is nonviable. With growth comes a need for a higher level of services than our county is equipped to provide. Additionally, there is a greater need for zoning and growth controls to be in place to ensure that our community’s residents are able to maintain the quality of life that they are accustomed to and so deserve. The reality is that wherever there is significant growth in sales tax taking place, eventually that area will either become its own city or a part of an already existing city.

We believe strongly that the people who reside in Bellevue and have built the quality of life we all enjoy so much, are the best equipped to make the decisions for this community moving forward. It is our desire that the people who are put into a position to make decisions for our community have to face their neighbors at church and at ballgames making them more accountable for the decisions they make. This is how government works best. We want more accountability, not less. It is because of this desire that we are committed to continuing the process of answering people’s questions for as long as it takes to convince people that this is the right path forward.

Finally, the challenge we leave every resident of the proposed City of Bellevue is to think beyond the questions they might have about what happens if we do incorporate, and begin to ask themselves different types of questions. What happens if we do not incorporate? What will become of the community that we love so much if we do not decide to take control over our own destiny? Whose hand will we be at the mercy of three or four years from now? What will our community look like five to ten years into the future? Those are the questions that every citizen of Bellevue has to answer for himself or herself.

One thing we know for sure is that change is coming to our community regardless. We can either choose to take control of it or standby and be at the mercy of it.

John Adcock
Proposed Mayor of Bellevue