I'm in Austria having a wonderful time! However, I still try to keep in touch with Natchez through the online version of the Natchez Democrat. A couple of things really caught my attention.
First the Good News (especially since it's so rare): Apparently the city and county will be contracting with U S NetworX to develop web sites. This has been a major issue wih me for quite a while. Natchez and Adams County simply cannot compete economically without an uptodate website. I have thought that was a major failing of the Economic Develop Agency, since online marketing is key to success in today's markets.
As I have mentioned before, the County is so superior to the City in the way it conducts business, and the new County Administrator Cathy Walker is exceptionally good. The Board of Supervisors decided that a new website was a priority and directed Cathy to research contractors and make recommendations. (If only the City would do such a thing!) Cathy did a thorough job of research, and I heard her presentation a few weeks ago. The Board voted to contract with US NetworX. Fortunately, the City is going to take advantage of the County's research and hire the same company.
This is the most significant economic development action taken by the City during this administration - and they probably do not even realize it.
And now for the Bad News: The Board of Aldermen gave the Mayor the right to select a Planner - BUT they specified the Planner should be certified. The Planner the Mayor chose is not certified. His choice is to be voted on at the meeting on Tuesday. I wonder if the Aldermen will stick to their guns and not approve this choice. It would be fine to keep this person on a contractual basis until a certified Planner could be found. However, it would be a major mistake to permanently hire him.
We all know how how crucial the position of Planner is to the character of Natchez. The Planner is involved in many controversial issues and must have credibility. Just think of the issues involved with the development of Roth Hill - or putting together the much needed comprehensive rezoning package.
Another piece of bad news is that the management contract for the Convention Center seems destined to happen.