The Crickets are Chirping, An Open Letter to Phil Bryant

May 8, 2018

Mrs. Lana Noonan
Waveland, Mississippi 39576

Governor Phil Bryant
P. O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205

Dear Governor Bryant:

I reviewed the Opportunity Zone Map for Hancock County, which was released to the press on April 23, and as a citizen of Waveland, was very surprised to see my city’s struggling downtown business district “carved” out of the zone eligible for the Federal tax abatements to attract investors to our area.

My first reaction was, “who could do this to us?!” It was a surprising and disappointing revelation to learn through the U. S. Department of the Treasury representative, Jeff Merkowitz, that it was, in fact, our own Governor who selected and nominated the eligible census tracts within our state for designation as Qualified Opportunity Zones.

The purpose of my letter is to ask you, as the person who made this decision, what criteria you used to determine that our entire neighboring city of Bay St. Louis, including their already thriving downtown area, and highway corridor, was entitled to be an Opportunity Zone, and downtown Waveland was not.

Considering the requirement of 20% of citizens living at poverty level, and no one making over 80% of the median income, this conclusion of yours is an enigma to me and many others.

The 12 years and 8 months since Waveland lost its entire downtown business district to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina have been a long and tiring struggle to restore our downtown for our public officials and citizens alike.

For the above stated reasons I will be looking forward to your reply with a full explanation of your decision to exclude downtown Waveland from this “opportunity” to rebuild.

Sincerely yours,

Lana T. Noonan, Waveland

7 thoughts on “The Crickets are Chirping, An Open Letter to Phil Bryant”

    1. AND, my hard copy certified letter to Governor that went out today was another effort to encourage a response from him since he ignored my email effort last week.

      1. I can share from personal experience that the Governor appears to have a habit of ignoring high profile issues.

  1. Dear Lana and Doug

    Welcome to the new & improved PHC, a quasi-governmental economic development driver for Hancock County!
    “Quangos can be beneficial depending on statutes, structure, clearly delineated goals & methods and oversight.
    In my opinion, the privatization of so many government functions, institutions is a slow dangerous slide. Governments and corporate entities may share many goals but not always. PHC is only quasi, but from my observations and research, they actively seek and are awarded Federal monies. And on its surface, there is nothing wrong with it. I have had a hard time finding all the monies for job training, HC TECH training programs up and rolling, and Mr Cork has already asked for another $13 million for workforce development, after receiving a $9 million Katrina CDBG HUD grant.

    Wow, and my husband couldn’t get a 50 cent raise!
    Miss Lana, there IS lots of money to help Waveland, and should….it breaks my heart STILL to drive on Coleman or just down pretty streets, many still big voids between houses or stairs going nowhere.
    Please keep us outdated. If both of us was 20 yrs younger, we’d learn the grant submission process and start up a minority business and create real jobs. Thanks for your expertise and experience.

  2. Great letter Ms Lana….it is sad that the people are not up in arms and behind you in mass numbers. If the voters don’t wake up, they will soon be working as slave laborers for the wealthy and elite. That is what it has come to. Stop voting for these empty suits just because they worked for the police department, or served in the military, or worked as a fireman. No offense to any of these honorable jobs; however, just because they worked in an honorable position does not automatically make them an “honorable individual”. Please think before you vote and do some serious research….don’t listen to the propaganda out there or what cousin Joe tells you. Research! Find out WHO you are voting for! Kick the trash to the curb!

  3. Governor Bryant may have kicked us in the shins in downtown Waveland, but just got great news from an Alliance member who attended the Hancock County Council of Governments meeting today.
    Port and Harbor Director, Bill Cork, announced that Jim Mac Phaille and his group of developers have purchased the Bill Lady hotel property at the intersection of Highway 90 and 603, and a Ramada Inn is coming to Waveland. Getting that old hotel and water park demolished will be such an improvement.
    What great news for our highway commercial district. We truly need to hustle businesses there since we have no downtown.
    AND, I understand Mr. McPhaille is trying to negotiate a Trade School site at the old Alcan property that he purchased on Central Ave. in the Bay.
    To say MacPhaille is busy is not doing him justice, to say the least.

  4. Waveland Mayor, Mike Smith, is posting on his facebook page this morning that “Miss. Power will be in the east side of Waveland Ave. for the Neighborhood Efficiency Program to assist low income communities. Check out his post.
    Wonderful news for those folks, but that section of Waveland did not make it into Governor Bryant’s Opportunity Zone Map to aid development to communities that have citizens living in poverty.
    Thank goodness Miss. Power doesn’t use the map drawing talents of Governor Bryant to determine the needs of their customers.

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