It’s up to you how Vicksburg portrayed

Published 7:14 pm Thursday, June 28, 2018

In recent months, a favorite refrain of Mayor George Flaggs Jr. (not quoted directly) is that the only time he hears a negative comment about Vicksburg is when he is in Vicksburg talking to people who live here.

The negativity in Vicksburg is so rampant that the company hired by the Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce to perform a study and create a strategic plan included it as one of the points of emphasis to work on along with job creation, housing and workforce development.

There are multiple Facebook groups where it seems the sole purpose is to talk about everything that is wrong in this community without any ideas about how to solve what they are complaining about or any willingness by the participants to play a role in improving the city and county.

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They simply have become echo chambers of crime discussion that makes Vicksburg out to be Chicago-esque and other complaints about the city.

I am not from here, so maybe I have a different perspective, but I don’t understand the complaints. I have lived in four cities in Florida, two cities in Georgia (one of them twice), a city in Louisiana (right outside New Orleans, which unlike Vicksburg actually is crime ridden), a city in Spain and now here.

I can honestly say some of the nicest people I have met live right here in Vicksburg. As do some of the most giving and dedicated people who will do anything to make their town better.

Yes, the city has some challenges. Yes, there are things that it needs and I would like to see done (hey, Chili’s, Firehouse Subs and Raising Cane’s check out Vicksburg), but stop for a moment and look around at what we do have.

For a town with just more than 20,000 people there is a nice movie theater, a new bowling alley, a brand spanking new Margaritaville, a diverse mix of locally owned restaurants and a world-class engineering facility that creates jobs and plays a huge role in education.

Every town has challenges. There will always be potholes (especially with dwindling revenue from sales tax revenue falling) and bad apples are always going to break-in places and solve disagreements by using guns. Things can be done to fix those issues, but I assure you that isn’t sitting at your keyboard typing away on Facebook.

The community has shown the desire to invest in the community by passing the tax for the sports complex and the bond resolution for the school board. It needs to go a step farther though.

Open a business. If you disagree with an Alderman, Supervisor or School Board member, don’t just complain online. Run against them. And please somebody find a way to solve the issue of no middle-income housing.

This town is at the point where it could take a huge step forward with the talks of a new port, tech transfer center and an art museum. The people here need to rally behind these projects, look at the good in town and become champions for the place they call home.

Or they can look at all the negatives, scare away investors and residents and wait for the town to die. It is your choice.

  Brandon O’Connor is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at