Northern District Transportation Commissioner Bill Minor’s comments in the Sunday Journal about highway construction illustrate the difficulties caused by the state’s failure to fully engage priorities once they’re set – and temporizing about challenging opportunities like infrastructure supporting Toyota.
The Legislature enacted the Vision 21 highway program in 2002 – a statewide plan to complement and extend the more than 1,000 miles of major arteries built under the 1987 Highway Program. The difference between 1987 and Vision 21 is adequate funding: The earlier program had it; Vision 21 lacks it for timely progress.
Commissioner Minor, like his two peers in central and south Mississippi, is a politician, and public statements are scrutinized by advocates of one project or another for every nuance of advantage. If he’s not inclusive, he’s exclusive for somebody.
Minor cannot appropriate funds; he can only propose and implement. Even when he proposes, his proposals need legislative advocates.