Joe Max Higgins is chief executive officer of Golden Triangle Development LINK, based in Columbus. He told The Commercial Dispatch that he believes Mississippi Development Authority leaders have a combative relationship with local and regional development groups. Higgins said MDA director Glenn McCullough tries to dictate where companies will locate.
The newspaper reported that McCullough declined its request for an interview, but MDA spokesman Jeff Rent said companies choose the sites that fit their needs.
Higgins also said Mississippi economic development is hurt by the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag, which critics see as racist, and by a law signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant in 2016, which says employees of government agencies or private businesses can cite their own religious beliefs to deny services to LGBT people.