Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Visits to the Zoo

There was not a big crowd tonight, but that's not surprising. A meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen is not the most exciting event in the world. (Later I stopped by a meeting of the Natchez Historical Society about witches, and it was standing room only.) By the way, if you missed it, you can watch it on Channel 4 Thursday night at 6 pm - I think that's the right time.

I've been attending meetings for quite a while now, and there is always discussion ad nauseum about getting grass cut at abandoned houses. What a waste of time! I simply don't understand why meetings are filled with such items when they could easily be accomplished by calling a city employee on the phone. If you look at an Agenda for one of these meetings, you never see anything of substance. The only public hearings they have are for issues required by law.

For example, everyone knows the Board is considering bringing a casino to the Natchez Riverfront, but it has never been on their Agenda. The only reason it was discussed tonight is because three citizens (Gwen Ball, Neil Varnell, and I) asked for time to discuss it. My testimony was basically asking them to involve the citizens in their decisions about the use of city property. Gwen discussed some of the research on casinos. Neil urged them to abide by the Chadbourne plan for waterfront development. Mostly our testimony was met with stares, although I'm quite certain that Aldermen Massey was snearing at us and even made a snide remark under his breath. Gwen asked the Aldermen if they had a vision or a plan for the city. After a period of silence, Aldermen Middleton said his vision was for jobs. Perhaps the most telling moment was when Neil offered to go over the Chadbourne plan and asked if anyone was willing to do this. Only Middleton raised his hand. The rest were totally disinterested in learning about it, even though theoretically they're bound to abide by it - and I'd bet my last dollar none of them are knowledgeable about it. There has been speculation that Middleton is planning to run for Mayor, which may explain why he's being nice.

During the reports of the Aldermen, Aldermen Gray told us why he walked out of the meeting last time. He said that a city employee, without any authorization at all, negotiated with a developer for a casino and presented a contract to the Board. Aldermen Gray said he didn't want any more citizen lawsuits, and he knew that was not the legal way to do it, and he was having nothing to do with it. After the meeting, I asked him if the city employee was David Gardner, since someone had posted a comment on this blog to that effect. He said it was. Even the most boring meeting has its gems!

I think I forgot to tell you that, as a result of Aldermen Gray and Mathis walking out, the City has solicited bids on the development of Roth Hill. Bids are due in mid November.

UPDATE: The ad is in today's paper and says:

REQUESTS FOR PROPOSAL. Notice is hereby given that the City of Natchez, Mississippi is Requesting Proposals for the Lease or Purchase and Development of the Roth Hill Road Site until 5 pm on November 16 2006.

I also attended two other meetings that are never attended by the public, although by law they are open. One was the "Working Session" yesterday and the other was the Finance Committee today. In both cases, I was the only person there, although Joan Gandy from the Democrat came late to both. I don't know if I inhibited them or not, but they surely didn't do much of anything in either meeting. It was mostly chit chat about this and that, with no organization that I could ascertain.

In the meeting this afternoon, they voted to go into Executive Session after about 30 minutes, which meant Joan and I had to leave. There are legal reasons to go into Executive Session, but there's no way to tell what they talked about once we left. I can tell you they go into Executive Session a lot.

There is another "Working Session" next Wednesday at 4 pm, in case anyone is interested in joining me. This Wednesday (October 25) is the meeting of the Community Alliance at 3 pm in the Convention Center.

PS I will be letting you know of an organizational meeting in the near future.

PSS It would be helpful if Commenters would register a name before leaving a comment. When everyone uses Anonymous, it makes it difficult for us to respond to comments. Let me assure you that no one, including me, knows who you are when you register except Google.


out of town said...

We should have a meeting ASAP and in a large central place. I wish I was in town and able to participate but I can contribute funds. Everyone reading this blog should contribuite money to help do what ever is necessary to put controle of our city back into the peoples hands. I will pledge $100.00 to start it off and we should put our group of three, Casey, Gwin, and Neil in charge of collecting and helping the group to decide what will help our end result the best to use these funds for.
Please, as citizens of Natchez, we need to make a better showing at all City Meetings to insure our Aldermen and Mayor get the mesage of how we as citizens feel!

nottabelle said...

I was floored at the meeting this week.
It was clear to me that most of the council is disinterested in the desires of the citizens of Natchez. Even worse than the disinterest, I watched Massey a lot. He seems to have actual SCORN for people participating in the democratic process. He introduced his wife and relatives, and I actually felt sorry for them, having to watch him as he slouched, glared, grumbled and sneered his way through three citizen speeches.
Something else dawned on me...as citizens tried to remind their elected leaders of their responsibilities to their constiuents, as they made constructive comments about broad vision for Natchez' future, etc. I asked myself WHY? are they ignoring good ideas? (ex: Varnell's wonderful vision of most of Natchez' entertainment being located Under-the-Hill-fitting both historically and currently...no petition drives from citizens for clubs down there! A brilliant idea.)
And I thought about the lack of colleges here, dicussed in other blog posts. There is very little opportunity, short of a 3 hour round trip commute to further one's sudies in most areas. Don't take this the wrong way; I do not believe college is an absolute neccessity for everyone, however, I do think a desire to learn, grow, expand one's vision, etc. needs to be there if nothing else. Speaking for myself, college was a sort of fast-track to realization of my own views--healthy debates where you expand your mind, etc. but that can certainly happen outside of school. What I'm saying is, maybe the last time some council members studied the role of "public servants" and citizen involvement in the process was when they were 17 years old? And if they haven't read a American Government textbook since then, have they forgotten what democracy is, a little? Maybe they don't remember citizens have a right, no, a responsibility to participate, to make their voices heard? Just things I've been wondering.
Do all of you remember that, too?

Anonymous said...

David Massey had been a very effective alderman and represented his constituents very well for many years. He would most likely be a shoe-in once again if he were to run for re-election tomorrow. What makes you think that the "vision" of a few people who choose to voice their opinion at a meeting should carry more weight than that of those who were elected to conduct the business of the city? Fact is, the last time the voice of "the citizens" was heard these leaders were elected by a majority to make certain decisions. How do you know that a majority of Massey's constituents are dissatified? Do you really think the majority of "the citizens" think like you?
Since when does it take three hours round trip to get to the Lorman campus of Alcorn? It was also noted on this blog that there is an advertisement for proposals for development of the vacant city owned land under-the-hill. Perhaps you and Vernell should submit your proposal to purchase the property and develop that entertainment district since it's such a brilliant idea. (In case you are not aware, the one bar under-the-hill has been involved in a legal battle for quite some time in attempt to remain in business). Citizens have the right to vote, but no right what so ever to be involved in every little decision made by the mayor and board.

DietLysol said...

The televised meeting seems to have fallen victim to "technical difficulties."

They are only fanning the flames. These good ol' boys are messing up.

And also, why didn't that Rinaldi fellow open up that whole BinkyGate thing earlier? I think it was because Binky used some of his ill-gotten booty to buy a bunch of advertisements in Rinaldi's magazine. However, I'm glad Rinaldi is publishing that paper so don't get me wrong there. I'm just asking questions.

DietLysol said...

Well, that settles it for me! "anonymous" sure makes a great argument: "He was elected. Sit down and shut up."

Welcome to the internet, politicos! It's going to be a bumpy ride. But you'll embrace it eventually---if you're smart.

Anonymous said...

It is true, Under the Hill Saloon went through years of legal battle with James Biglane who owns most of the land Under the Hill along Silver St. Others own the land around Roth Hill and Biglane may own some of it, I'm not certain. After years of the Saloon operating and being short of a tourist destination, James Biglane decided to move Under the Hill and is currently living above the gift shop. Since this time, he has tried to drive the Saloon out of business. First he closed all of the parking lots UTH. Then he constantly calls the police if there is a band and if the noise becomes too loud.
Also true is that most citizens don't have time to involve themselves in local politics and many of the same elected officials will most likely be re-elected. The officials see the people in the meetings as the elite; they do not see them as the majority. However, there have been issues where citizens did band together and did make a difference after much invested time and money and. It depends on the particular issue. Natchezians were offered a right to vote on the issue of casinos and they chose to allow them. So now you must define what particular issue you are fighting. Do you want to choose how many casinos can now be allowed? Do you want to change the first voting decision or have a new vote? Entertainment at Roth Hill, where are the investors for that? The Aldermen are simply reacting to proposals presented to them, which may only be those of casinos. good luck.

nottabelle said...

Yes, leaders are elected to make decisions for the people. But does that mean we can't speak up when important things are at stake? Our input is no longer valid b/c the election day is over? Have you never found yourself in disagreement with bits and pieces of what a politician did after you helped to elect him? We all must pick our battles, and for some, this one is worth fighting. (I'm actually surprised we haven't heard an outcry from the religious leaders on this.)
And what about the voice of the minority? It's impossible for me to know what the majority wants, but that's beside the point. Majority and minority alike live in a democracy and all have a right to speak.
I wasn't referring to Massey's effectiveness or chances at winning again. I was referring to his disrespectful attitude toward other citizens in the room, people brave enough not to roll over and play dead when faced with a tidal wave of negativity and disrespect.
Lorman is fine if you are interested in a certain few subjects (nursing, business, music, etc.) When I looked into graduate options or even a few classes to expand on my Bachelor's, I didn't see much I hadn't already taken that I would be interested in. Good for you if you did. I was referring to someplace with more diversity of options. Which requires a good hour and a half drive each way. Not very easy if one has a family and a full-time job.
I have a question. Is one required to have money to have voice in Natchez? If I can't buy land, do I still have the right to voice my opnion about my beloved city? Don't we have a responsiblity to protect what's special about Natchez for our future generations? This is not the sole territory of the "Elite". It's all of ours.
I had forgotten about the legal battle for the Saloon...does anyone know why Biglane doesn't want the saloon there? Or do I misunderstand the basis of the issue?

Anonymous said...

Question: Why is David Gardner allowed to do whatever he wants to do without any restraint from the mayor and board. The fact that he went out and got a contract signed for another casino is a good reason to terminate him immediately. He is pulling the wool over all of our eyes. He needs to go

natchezblues said...

I agree, isn't he with the water works co. now? So how on earth does he have the authority to get contracts signed? He is simply a city employee, like a fireman, a policeman, etc. This makes no sense. Could I, a lowly citizen go out find someone who wants to build something at Roth Hill and have them sign a contract and tell the Mayor & Ald. that this will happen, I have a signed contract. This is ludicrous! Well, he must've procured the contract from the city; he must've had the okay. Because who drew up the contract? Also, the illegal dumping by the city at Catherine Creek, someone should've been fired for that.

Natchezworker said...

He is still running Engineering and also over Water works. I can't answer the "authority" question but wouldn't believe any ONE person with the City would have that authority.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone who is a city employee submit the proposal of a 3d party to the city for a project involving publicly owned property? Does Mr. Gardner have a vested interest in such a proposal? Are these people friends of his? Here is a guy who has engineered the trails project and is now pushing for casinos? I can't imagine this is in his job description. I truly believe there are some ethical questions which need to be entertained in this situation.

Anonymous said...

I am going to send a copy of this blog to the Attorney General's Office and the State Ethics Commission and see if they will investigate this matter.

Anonymous said...

Good! While they're at it (Atty. General's ofc.) they might find some other matters of interest.

Anonymous said...

I commend David Gardner for trying to push forward and get something done. Natchez needs movement and action.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Good! While they're at it (Atty. General's ofc.) they might find some other matters of interest.

They won't do anything, look at the Zion Church Parking lot overlay.
The City began leasing this parking lot and Bubba West was having a hissy fit to get it overlayed, It was never approved by the Board and then City Attorney Walter Brown told them not to do it because it was possibly illegal, but Bubba insisted.
So he ordered the Public Works Director to do it.
Well the calls flooded the State Auditor's office when work started, and an investigation was started.
Bubba denied giving the order to the PWD, but the PWD had him on tape giving the order. Ya gotta love it.
Anyway, they said "technically it was not an overlay" Yeah Right!
What about conflict of interest, or just plain ethics?
Political ethics, theres a contradiction in terms.
But let me state that I'm certain David Gardner was acting on the request of Board Member/s not on his own.

NatchezWorker said...

I have to agree with the previous poster saying I don't believe David was acting on his own either. He's done a done of good work for the City and I don't believe he would put himself out on a limb.
You guys outta ask about the job the Police and Fire Chiefs have done to run their departments in the ground.

Anonymous said...

You may be right, "anonymous", about D. Gardner being put up to this by the boa. Nothing about them surprises me. Why would the city council encourage him to do so? Why not just advertise for bids? Did they think they could escape the law again, as they did in the condo deal? I sometimes think they try real hard to be "above the law", thumb their noses at those who are watching them. Maybe they have something going with somebody, somewhere, that they think they'll get by with this. But, from what I understand this kind of thing has been going on for a long, long time and they are outraged that anyone, citizens, would question them. But, if Gardner is beyond reproach in his regard for legal ethics he would know to decline...but then he has a job which could be sacrificed for integrity.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who it is..., David Gardner, Ronnie Ivey, or whoever. you know it is wrong you should have balls to stand up and say, "NO, I AM NOT GOING TO DO IT!" Let the chips fall as they may. If you do wrong, you are guilty. David and Ronnie both knew what they did was wrong. Just like they knew it was illegal to instruct the public works crew to dump that stuff in the St. Catherine Creek. The employees of the Public Works Department have said that they were told to do it. David and Ronnie planned to dump it and cover it up, but it rained and their game plan was busted. These two guys are not above the law. There actions are not above reproach. If they are wrong, they are just wrong.




Anonymous said...

Zion Chapel Church is where Alderman West attends. He had them to pave the parking lot as a favor to him so that he would look good at this church. It was wrong and he should have been penalized for it. Perhaps Neil, Gwen and Paris should have filed a law suit against the city for that.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Regardless of who it is..., David Gardner, Ronnie Ivey, or whoever. you know it is wrong you should have balls to stand up and say, "NO, I AM NOT GOING TO DO IT!" Let the chips fall as they may. If you do wrong, you are guilty. David and Ronnie both knew what they did was wrong. Just like they knew it was illegal to instruct the public works crew to dump that stuff in the St. Catherine Creek. The employees of the Public Works Department have said that they were told to do it. David and Ronnie planned to dump it and cover it up, but it rained and their game plan was busted. These two guys are not above the law. There actions are not above reproach. If they are wrong, they are just wrong.

It must be easy for you to as an armchair employee to make this statement, but when your job is on the line in this town you generally follow orders, because there are not a lot of alternatives.
The BOA could not fire you for an refusing to do something illegal, but all City employees with the exception of Police and Fire (civil service), serve at the will and pleasure of the board so one could be dismissed on the whim of the BOA.
I bet you would review your ethics if put in the same situation!

Anonymous said...
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Loving Natchez said...

Wow..., sounds like the truth is hurting somone. These responses are VERY INTERESTING.

Anonymous said...

This has indeed gotten interesting, but let me ask two questions;

1. How many of you actually go to the BOA meetings?

From reading this, it appears that there are many citizens with opinions and ideas on how to run the City, The ethics police,along with rumors of misconduct and affairs, (imagine that, rumors in Natchez), and talk of throwing the local politicians and public officials out, Jackie Collins is taking notes from these pages.
This is Natchez at it's best, a lot of talk but no action.

2. Will any of you run for office in the next election?

Anonymous said...

I'm with the guy who wants to get rid of the "Smut Mongers"! Here Here!

That's the best post I've ever read on this board. Is there a way to get that one moved to the front page?

I also like the post about alot of talk and no action. Now there's some truth coming out.

Let's start discussion on how to run the "smut mongers", trouble makers and those who are against progress out of town.

Loving Natchez said...


2 Chronicles 7:14

14 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Anonymous said...

Faith without action is dead. Natchez needs leadership, growth, industry, casinos, condominiums, smoke stacks, education, and anything else that is willing to invest or provide jobs. Can you say hello fayette?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when people express the truth and begin to expose things that are not right, they are "labeled" as trouble makers?

Tom Scarborough said...

Wow--whoever these anonymous posters are--if you are going to talk smack about someone, then you should at least have the guts to identify yourself. Hiding behind your anonymity and taking pot-shots at the personal character of others (i.e. Mr. Gardiner's personal life) is about as chickenshit as it comes. I doubt anyone posting here, including myself, hasn't made a mistake at some point that has caused pain and embarassment to others. I happen to think Mr. Gardiner is damn good at his job. Whether or not others agree, Mr. Gardiner should be judged only on the merits of his job performance. His personal life should not be fodder for the nasty little back-biters on this blog. Shame on you.

Chesney Doyle said...

Bravo Tom Scarborough. You just beat me to it. The nasty and unnecessary comments made about David Gardner on this blog can be summed up in one word: HATEFUL.

I'm proud to sign my name to this entry and I hope others will speak out as well.

Blogmaster - I know you remove comments that use profanity. I think the horrific comment about Gardner's personal life is about as profane an action as anything I've ever seen. The least that can be done about this is to remove the comment from the blog.


Anonymous said...

AMEN to that Tom!

Anonymous said...

Another thank you to Mr. Scarborough. I will remain anonymous but I must say having attended many city council meetings, and often not in agreement with what goes on there, I would never hide behind my anonymity here or anywhere and smear someone's character with dubious details of his/her personal life. I would like to think that we can leave the "personal details" out of these discussions. It is a wonderful opportunity to express ourselves anonymously and that privilege requires a responsibility to truth and integrity...even under the cover of anonymity.

Anonymous said...

All posters to this site should be extremely careful about your comments. While we may think that we know a person, unless we are with them all of the time, we really cannot say that we know them. Yes, we all make mistakes. However, we must all be willing to accept the responsibility for our mistakes. We should not live our lives expecting someone to always bail us out when we are wrong.

I know David Gardner quite well and I also know that some of the postings by the "anonymous" person are true.

I hate that this blog has become what it has, but it is definitely putting out the information on everyone.

Thanks Casey.

DietLysol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DietLysol said...

Since some of these information Nazis have decided that they know best concerning what should and should not be posted on this blog, I (Benny Oglethorpe) felt obligated to put my two cents into the discussion.

First of all, I realize that drinking and driving is a personal issue, but when you are caught and allowed to go free without prosecution, there are more issues at stake than personal privacy. I hope that the NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT or someone else will investigate to see if DAVID GARDNER was caught DRINKING and DRIVING only to be given a free pass. About 15 years ago, I was caught drinking and driving. I lost my D.L. for three months, I had to pay higher insurance rates, and I had to pay a bail bondsman to get my sorry butt out of jail. Why is DAVID GARDNER above all of this? I actually learned a great deal from that mistake, and I believe that DAVID GARDNER should not be denied the chance to learn from his mistake.

Communication on the Internet is not a "privilege." Anyone can do it. Some are credible and some are not. Get over it. The great thing about anonymous information is that it can be investigated and proven true, false, or unknown without the accused or the accuser being ruined in the process by these politicians or other forces in the community. If a person who works in the public eye can't endure false accusations from time to time by lunatics with some agenda, that person should seek other employment---happens all the time.

Personally, I don't care who DAVID GARDNER is chasing around the office desk, but if this guy is breaking the law and getting away with it, I think we need to talk about it. Maybe someone from the NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT will investigate the anonymous allegation that DAVID GARDNER may have been DRIVING DRUNK, but allowed to escape the consequences. Hell, even the Kennedys spend a few minutes in jail for DRUNK DRIVING.

I understand that critiquing the ethics and morals of politicians is a little like booing at the Special Olympics, but come on, folks---enough burying your head in the sand!

This blog is wonderful, and EVERYONE should continue to post FREELY.

Anonymous, you keep up the excellent work! And keep the information coming. If it gets deleted, that's okay--- at least some of us will be enlightened.

Tom Scarborough said...

I'm all for discussing issues that fall within the purview of the public good--and a free pass for a drunken driving incident certainly merits responsible investigation. But an individual's marital life does not meet that test, in my opinion. Nor does dragging the name and reputation of other city employees through the mud. Mr. Oglethorpe, if you really think it is okay to disseminate sleazy innuendo about others within the cyber-Natchez community, then your ethical compass is badly in need of recalibration.

May I also suggest you be a bit more circumspect about labeling people "Nazis". That's a pretty loaded term to be tossing around indiscriminately.

Tom Scarborough

Anonymous said...

Many people here in Natchez are more concerned with getting their version of the story out rather than getting the facts and here is another example of it.
David was arrested for DUI while in his personal vehicle not a City Vehicle and booked at the NPD.
As I recall, the story was printed in the Natchez Democrat.
To my knowledge he was subsequently prosecuted but to what extent, I cannot say, because I never ask him.
Unless there is another incident I am unaware of, this appears to be more fodder from the "elite rumor morons" which have no interest in the facts.

Cuthbert J Twilley said...

"I hate that this blog has become what it has, but it is definitely putting out the information on everyone."

I bet you would have a different view if you were the target of such information!

By the way, the word information in your sentence should be replaced with GOSSIP.

I believe that this blog was intended as a place to discuss issues concerning the future of Natchez, not old idle gossip.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Headline News: Natchez gets a Saint said...

And you are? A saint, that is.

I am so thrilled to know that God has seen fit to place a saint like you in Natchez.

Sign your name. We could all benefit from knowing the true identity of this local saint.

Natchez Soon to be Shrine for Local Saint said...

Imagine the boost to local tourism if we can prove that Natchez has a living Saint! Maybe we can become a shrine.

Show yourself Saint! Natchez needs you! We'll put your face on a billboard. People will come from around the world to touch your robe.

Casey Ann said...

Any comments that include rumors about anyone's personal behavior will be deleted. If these comments continue, I will have to take further steps, which will unfortunately result in less freedom on this blog for everyone else. So whoever you are, please cease and desist.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Casey Ann. I, for one, like that policy.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness!!!!

I've already been telling people to avoid the blog but now I can tell them



Anonymous said...

Natchezians are so interesting. There are some things about this place I will never understand. Question: Can we ALL get along?

DietLysol said...

Keep posting, Anonymous Dude or Dudet with the great information. Casey's options of suppressing or limiting posters is fairly limited. All sorts of ways around it that I will be happy to show you.

Scarby fella, you are wasting your clueless breath.

Casey Ann said...

DietLysol: You are mistaken. My ability to control content is more than adequate. Unfortunately, such controls will limit the freedom of others.

Since you seem to know so much about blogs, I suggest you start one of your own where you may post whatever rumors or gossip that you wish. That is not the purpose of this blog, and I intend to strictly enforce this.

tarheelu4ia said...

You're right, Benny Boy--no percentage in trying to reason with small-minded and mean-spirited little gerbils like you.

That is all.

Tom Scarborough said...

The previous post is mine, Benny. Just wanted to make certain you were clear on that.

DietLysol said...

Be not afraid, Anon. I don't know how sophisticated your I.T. skills are, but the simplest way to approach this is changing your source addresses frequently. Use hotmail accounts. She can delete them, but you can always repeat or I will do it for you. There are more covert methods, but likely no need for them.

Stay away from the personal stuff, and she'll likely let it go. Be they left or right, it's always about control. Give in a little, but keep your eyes open for things that involve law or policy.

Power to the people!

Casey Ann said...

To DietLysol:

This time you're right. The only thing I'm forbiding is "personal stuff". But you're wrong about control - my goal is not to have to control this blog at all. If people will voluntarily leave out the "personal stuff", then we can continue to have a free flowing stream of opinions. The purpose of the blog IS to provide "power to the people".

DietLysol said...

It's all going to be alright, Casey Ann. You need Anon and me. Check your views for this comment page alone. Your numbers were lagging for a while there.

I know this is the point where you type out a cliche like "I don't want that kind of attention." and so forth, but a litte controversy is essential.

Anon is going to be the Terrel Owens of this blog page. Your audience is growing as you read this message. We are helping you manipulate your medium.

As to your suggestion about hosting a blog of my very own, I would be no good at hosting a blog. I'm not an activist. I'm a watcher. I'm a slacker. I'm a procrastinator. I'm lazy. I live vicariously through the conflicts of others because I can't endure most people in real life long enough to enjoy them. In short, not happening.

But you are doing well...so go forth and scold no more.

Anonymous said...
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Tom Scarborough said...

Duly noted, Casey. Apologies to Mr. Oglethorpe.

Anonymous said...

I am interested in knowing your thoughts on the City's plan to pay for a position for the NAPAC museum. Do you think they should do it? If yes, why? If no, why?

QUESTION: How is providing funding for this position any different from putting money into the Downtown Development Association budget?

Anonymous said...

How do you all feel about the City providing money to the NAPAC museum to fund a director position?

natchezblues said...

I am not sure, I'd have to see the agencies/organizations that the city already funds and how much they are giving to these agencies and the person running them in order to make a decision about this. I take it the city does help fund the Downtown Dev. Ass.? Do they fund the person running it? If so, then yes, they should help with funding for the head of the NAPAC, but these amounts should be about the same. However, one is for the entire downtown area of Natchez and one is for an organization and I feel an important one, but I think you just have to see it on paper, who is getting what inorder to make a decision on this issue.
In the newspaper today the editorial was for funding the repairs the NAPAC building needs but not for the city paying a salary. Definitely the city should pay the repairs on the NAPAC building.

DietLysol said...

I believe it would be a good idea to have that museum and director. I'm a white dude, but it does seem that Natchez needs a little more balance when it comes to projects that are race specific.

Let's face it, we don't see too many African Americans on the house tours. I'm not really interested in the history of black people or white people in the South, but there seems to be a huge market for historical tourism. A balanced attack might prove more profitable for Natchez.

Anonymous said...

DietLysol said...
I believe it would be a good idea to have that museum and director. I'm a white dude, but it does seem that Natchez needs a little more balance when it comes to projects that are race specific.

Could you tell us what "projects" we have now that are "race specific"?

Anonymous said...

They cannot even afford to hire a City Planner! How in the HELL could they possibly consider hiring a director for some non-city related association?

Anonymous said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand how the City keeps doing such stupid stuff. I think someone should get an attorney general's opinion on this matter. I tried to search their opinion page but the server was down. Only elected or duly appointed government officials can request an official opinion according to the AG's office website.

I would seem as though they would look at the museum's productivity, current marketing strategy, fundraising plan, budget, past audits or compilations of expenditures, etc. before deciding to "donate" taxpayer's monies.

I AM NOT against supporting the museum, but even the old "welfare" system has been overhauled. We should not support or invest taxpayer's money in an organization that is not trying to do something for itself.

I never hear anything or see anything in print about NAPAC. They do not seem to have the leadership in place that has the skills and abilities to do anything other than open the museum on a part-time basis; hold the annual student luncheon; have a fashion show; and, that's it.

I know that "thinking out of the box" is a term that has been driven in the ground for quite sometime now, but the museum has a great potential.

I wonder if the fact that the current president of the NAPAC board, Rev. Leroy White, is Mayor
West's best buddy has anything to do with this request and push for approval.

I eagerly await the continued discussion.

DietLysol said...

Man alive, some of you "anonymoususi" need to at least make up some kind of name so that you can communicate and be responded to.

In response to anonymous' question to me. Sorry, but I used the wrong terms. I was speaking more toward the whole Pilgrimage thing. That is certainly open to all races, etc., but that is all geared toward folks who like all the romance and myth of the Old South with the focus on the rich planters' homes and so forth. Kunta Kintay is not really on many of the tours. I was suggesting that more should be done to come up with some money maker that exploits black Southern history for tourist dollars.

However, you or some other "anon" made it perfectly clear that we have no money for crap like that so I stand corrected. I don't know much about how much money is involved in any of this government stuff. Hoping to find out things from folks like you and the Natchez Democrat. I'm learning.

natchezblues said...

I wonder how much the city pays to keep the visitors center going? How many salaries? Then there's the Chamber, in of course another building, the Convention Center, and where is the Downtown Development Assoc. housed? Why can't some of these come together in one location? Is it possible to house the DDA in the NAPAC museum and the same person who is head of DDA could also operate the museum. The NAPAC is housed in a wonderful building and it's the location (not the bldg.) where William Johnson had his barber shop.
There is nepotism and the plain old buddy system running rampant all over this town. I want a mayor who will come in and make some pertinent decisions, some bold decisions to reorganize and save money in the process. Not everyone may like it, but someone with intelligence, vision, and know-how needs to make some drastic changes in this town.

Love Natchez said...

Did anyone hear that the mayor was under an FBI investigation for a HUD grant that the City received?

DietLysol said...

Love Natchez,

Do you have any details about that? What was Housing and Urban Development issuing the grant for? What did the mayor do wrong?

I have not heard of this. Would you please tell us more?

Anonymous said...

A grant was given to the City to prepare a community development master plan. The mayor has been secretly trying to manipulate to purpose of the grant. He wanted to use it for recreational stuff, but the grant purpose was outlined by HUD.

The grant was funded through a congressional appropriation to HUD for the HUD Economic Development Initiative (EDI). I just read where he wants to use it to pay for a website.

This is going to bite the city in the butt......

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, are you sure the HUD grant for planning disallows use of funds for a website? And if so, does the Mayor know this already?

Anonymous said...

A grant was given to the City to prepare a community development master plan. This was mentioned in one of the board meetings.

Is a "WEBSITE" a community development plan?