Editorial: Coast needs a port that creates jobs now, not years from now

So now we know why there was such a fuss over releasing a legislative report on the status of the state Port of Gulfport.

According to the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, the port will be unable to meet job goals attached to almost $600 million in federal funding until 2035 — 20 years later than promised.

That prediction, the PEER report says, comes from “the port’s own consultants” and the Mississippi Development Authority has used it in its own reports.

Yet less than two weeks ago, Gov. Phil Bryant was at the port bragging about the “enormous progress” being made there and how that would “expedite the creation of needed jobs.”

Perhaps MDA forgot to tell the governor what it had been telling federal officials since the first quarter of 2012.

In any event, predictions don’t matter. Job creation does.

Sun Herald
9/14/13