Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry won't...

Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry won't destroy live oaks without court order

There are 4 comments on the The Mississippi Press story from Jun 1, 2011, titled Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry won't destroy live oaks without court order. In it, The Mississippi Press reports that:

Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry said it is going to take a court order to cut down live oak trees along Mississippi 57 from Old Spanish Trail to the railroad tracks.

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Hishock

Gautier, MS

#1 Jun 3, 2011
Tommy don"t back down for Ocean Springs - why would they build a high school practically in Gautier. Who's bright idea was that or did they think that that section of land would have already been annexed by Ocean Springs. They do all these stupid things then want everyone to just roll over for them. Ocean Springs wouldn't do anything for Gautier. Our trees are just as important to us as Ocean Springs trees are to them.
Gospmp

Gautier, MS

#2 Jun 4, 2011
I personally don't care if they cut oak trees down or not and frankly I don't even really care about Gautier or Ocean Springs but *if* I was the mayor of Gautier I couldn't agree more, I wouldn't back down.

When Gautier annexed that part of Spanish Trail to Hwy. 57 and up north of I-10, a lot of those kids went to school either in Vancleave or @ Ocean Springs schools and now Gautier is getting these students.

Ocean Springs easily could have built a new high school off of US 90 out there on one of those undeveloped tracks north or south of US 90 and east of Wal Mart. What Ocean Springs is doing here is basically drawing a line so Gautier can't annex anything else south of Spanish Trail or west of Hwy. 57. It's a power struggle. Of course Gautier shouldn't remove the trees for Ocean Springs, and the mayor is right, if the roles were reversed -- would Connie Moran remove oaks for Gautier? No.

But by putting the OS high school so close to the Gautier city limits and by putting it on county land rather than inside Ocean Springs proper they're basically making a land claim to all that area to stop further encroachment by Gautier onto their school district land.

As shallow as this sounds -- people pay taxes even in the county lands like Gulf Park Estates and off of Ocean Springs Rd. in order to support the Ocean Springs school district. And that's even though they're not in the city of Ocean Springs itself.

So in other words, this all boils down to money. There were several thousand people who lived to the east of Hwy 57 & north of 90 who went to Ocean Springs schools and there were people who lived from south of the tracks along Spanish Trail down to the railroad bridge who's kids went to OS schools and who paid district taxes. Imagine when Gautier annexed that land how many hundreds of thousands or even millions annually the OS school district lost due to Gautier getting those people into the Gautier(well the Pascagoula school district)school district.

By drawing the line in the sand south of Spanish trail and West of 57 the OS school district is basically protecting their tax base and thus millions in revenues that could potentially be stolen if Gautier somehow was able to eat up that land in Fountainbleau or in Gulf Park Estates.

That's millions of dollars and I'm sure lots of people in the OS school district who make in the 6 figures for their salaries know what that would mean for their money and the jobs of those below them.

It's kind of funny, its almost like how gangs or the mafia vie for 'territory.' Or 'turf.'

The cities are fighting to keep their 'turf'- and thus their revenue tax streams, open. Ironic, sad, and darkly humorous how shallow the world is and how everything boils down to $$$$$
Just The Facts

Ocean Springs, MS

#3 Jun 10, 2011
Dear Gosmp,
Fact is, the school district boundaries did not change at all when Gautier annexed to Hwy 57 and north of I-10. So OS school district still has students who live in Gautier city limits, who still pay OS school taxes. Many people are under the false impression that city limits are same as school district limits. Not so.

Those new apartments under construction on Hwy 57 in Gautier? Yep -- those kids will go to OS schools.
gosmp

Gautier, MS

#4 Jun 10, 2011
Just The Facts wrote:
Dear Gosmp,
Fact is, the school district boundaries did not change at all when Gautier annexed to Hwy 57 and north of I-10. So OS school district still has students who live in Gautier city limits, who still pay OS school taxes. Many people are under the false impression that city limits are same as school district limits. Not so.
Those new apartments under construction on Hwy 57 in Gautier? Yep -- those kids will go to OS schools.
From what I was told certain kids who went to OS schools AFTER A CERTAIN GRADE went to OS schools still but the kids below a certain grade would go to Gautier/Pascagoula schools. It was a way to transition control of the areas out of the OSSD's control. Or so that was the way it was explained to me. The people who live up near I-10 -- I had always assumed those kids went to Vancleave/County schools....

Even still in theory eventually Gautier can and should challenge Ocean Springs SD because they are essentially another school district on their territory, the same way they'll probably break off from the Pascagoula district when they get the chance.

And again, I still say this is a way for Ocean Springs SD, and more importantly Ocean Springs, to stop Gautier's south & westward expansions. Meaning the lines have been drawn and Gautier's only path to growth now is probably north.

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