Sunday, December 10, 2006

Good News & Bad News

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.


Anonymous said...

Right on Casey. A professional marketing identity for Natchez will make more money and provide a better life for us all. Hooray for the county officials and thanks to the city officials for following suit in a unified way.

Also, planning our future is one of the most important duties of our government and we need a certified city planner to guide us. Let's hope we get one - and a good one, or even a great one like several we've had in the past.

Anonymous said...

You bet the management contract is probably bad news. The following is in Natchez Magazine

"Can these things be true?

I have been told some amazing things in the last week or so that have brought me out of hibernation. Please tell me it isn't so!
1. The present management and staff of the Convention Center will be hired as the management and staff of the new corporation that will take over running the Convention Center, The Auditorium, the Community Center, the New Hotel, and they are negotiating to take over the Vidalia Visitors Center - Convention Center - Meeting Facility. Now that's going to be a BUSY bunch. If so the government will really be up to its neck in competition with scores of private venues. (A popular definition of insanity: "continuing the same behavior and expecting different results")
2. The City Department of Tourism Management will STAY in business with Ms. Taunton in charge.
3. The new hotels on Canal St. (next to the Isle of Capri) and on John R Junkin are on deep hold as a result of stumbling blocks set by the City, it is said because the City doesn't want competition for "its" new hotel.
4. An American Indian Tribe with lots of money has been trying to purchase and restore the Ramada but the City has (same as above - same reasons)."

From December Natchez Magazine

Anonymous said...

This blog appears to be dead.

Anonymous said...

Why has everyone suddenly stopped blogging here?

Anonymous said...

Because our leader Casey is in Austria.

Anonymous said...

The City Council voted today - 12-18-06 to award the Roth Hill Casino contract to the Lane Company out of Atlanta.

Supposedly, it's a 40 year lease and not an outright sale.

Supposedly, it's a boat and a botanical garden. Compatible with the Trails project, etc.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the LARGE SCALE PARKING LOT / DECK adjacent to the gambling boat.

No Botanical Garden is going to make up for that ugly site.

And once Lane gets theirs, then Isle of Capri will want the same.