We had over 100 people and 20 tables with different topics at the January 30 town hall, Gulfport on the Edge: Trends and Forces Impacting Our Town. Many of the same trends/questions/issues/comments were made at this event as at the first town hall and at many of the different tables – even though they had different topics. Many times the same trend affects many issues. We live in a complex environment and a solution to one problem can have unintended consequences in another area. Therefore, issues have to be looked at from many perspectives.
There were many trends discussed that evening. Here are a few that crossed over between tables:
- People moving south for better weather and a nice environment
- More employees working from home and can live anywhere
- Cost of living in Florida increasing more than the national average
- People looking for alternative transportation: walking, scooters, ebikes, golf carts
- Walkability is becoming more important [and the] need for pedestrian safety
- People wanting more festivals, art fairs and music – citywide entertainment
- Short-term rentals as a means of vacationing instead of hotels/motels
- RVs as an increasingly popular way to travel
- More families moving into the area, which increases need for kid-friendly activities
- Dissatisfaction with code enforcement
- Loss of trees, plants, and green spaces
- Water quality and the trend to more red tide and other water issues
- Sea level rise and the problems that it will bring
- Increasing bad/hot weather and more intense storms
- There were many more discussions about lots of trends and topics. The data will continue to be
assessed and more will be added after the next session.
● The last Gulfport on the Edge community conversation on Monday, April 10 from 6-9 p.m. as we time travel to 2030 to Envision Possible Futures. This will be a highly creative, interactive event to bring your ideas to life in pictures and words. To register go to gulfport-on-the-edge-vision-2030.eventbrite.com.
● Attend Councilmember Paul Ray’s town hall on Wednesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at the library. He will have Dudley Scott from the Florida League of Cities discussing how residents can become more engaged in state issues.
● Vote! Vote! Vote! March 14.
The Gabber makes space available, at no charge, to any elected official in our coverage area who is not currently running for re-election. Officials may write up to 500 words once a month for “Council Corner.”