Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Election

The voters spoke for the first time in this year's City Elections, and there's good, bad, and ugly in the results.

The bad, in my opinion, was that my Alderwoman, Joyce Arceneaux Mathis, got the most votes in Ward 1, and depending on the absentee ballots, may even avoid a runoff. She is without a doubt the most disruptive influence on the Board of Aldermen. Ricky Gray was also reelected, but he's not all bad. UPDATE: She has avoided a runoff. YUCK! Well, maybe the new mayor will keep her in check.

There is lots of good to see in the election results. My favorite result is the election of Tony Fields in Ward 4. He was such an exciting candidate, and I hope he fulfills his promise. In addition to Tony, there will be at least two new Aldermen. One is Dan Dillard in Ward 6, and I think he will bring a great deal of much needed professionalism to the Board. Ward 5 will have a runoff between Frances Thompson Bailey and Mark Fortenberry, and either will be a welcome addition.

The ugly was the voter's dissatisfaction with the way the City has been run, and they took it out on the Mayor, as he was soundly defeated. This should send a message to the Board that things had better change around here.

Jake Middleton did several things I disagreed with when he was Alderman. However, he ran one of the best campaigns I've seen around here, and it paid off for him. If he were to become Mayor, I do believe the City will be far better off that it was. My heartfelt congratulations to Jake for a job well done.

But it's not over yet. In only two weeks on May 20, there will be a Runoff Election in Ward 5, and if I'm lucky, in Ward 1. Then two weeks later on June 3, there will be a General Election for Mayor and for Alderperson for Wards 3 & 5.

Do you want an opportunity to help fight some of the craziness that was foisted on Natchez during this City Administration?

Ron and Mimi Miller have probably done more for Natchez than any other couple. Now it’s time that Natchez returns the favor, and they really need our help.

It’s Fat Mama’s again. It was bad enough that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen overrode the ruling of their Planning Commission and allowed it to be built. But now Fat Mama's doesn't even want to abide by the plan submitted to the Preservation and Planning Commissions. Take a drive down Washington Street, turn left on Wall, then right on Wensel and just look at what Ron and Mimi (and their neighbors) are going to have next to their house. It is an outrage!

What can you do? Attend a meeting of the Preservation Commission which has been called for this Thursday, May 8 at 5:15 pm at the City Council Chambers. Tell everyone you know. Don’t let them get away with violating the law again. Please come and show your support for Ron and Mimi.


Anonymous said...

Casey, while I am in the county, these results will affect all of us. I appreciate your interest in the city of Natchez.

Anonymous said...

Casey, I also appreciate Ron and Mimi but good grief, that is a business district they are in. There was a book store next to them for years and a restaurant at the depot. Granted, Fat Mamas is in their back yard, they could probably reach out their window and hand grab a tamale.

I'm curious though, at this point since the Fat Mama's building is already up, what can be done. Tear it down??? Why wasn't something done sooner,like, before they laid the concrete. Seriously.

Also a HUGE CONGRATS to Jake Middleton. You may disagree with him some of the time, but he is overall a GREAT GUY. He'd give you the shirt off his back. I've NEVER seen a guy want something so bad. He's been campaigning for two years now. This is why Chic will lose, he jumped in it at the last minute because of a certain group of people, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

"Don’t let them get away with violating the law again."

Again? How is this Casey? I guess the Supreme Court knows nothing of laws?

The Millers have done much for our great city. However, that doesn't give them a blank check to obstruct anything they choose. The courts have upheld Fat Mama's right to locate 100 yds up the street, let's move on.

Anonymous said...

The courts almost always rule in favor of a municipality regardless of how strong the argument supports violation of the ordinance, etc. So, that in and of itself says we need protection against the illegality, the inconsistency. We protect ourselves by electing city leaders who observe, understand, and obey the law. We protect ourselves by electing city leaders who aren't in the business of hiding their own self-serving agenda behind a veil of secrecy.

Anonymous said...

Casey, could all Mimi's outrage be because she wanted to purchase the lot and split it with Fat Mama's? When they decided to keep the entire lot is when all this "outrage" started. She would rather keep an empty, weed-filled lot for her B&B customers to park for free. Fat Mama's has been generating tax dollars for the city of Natchez for many, many, years. Are you aware that the previous zoning of that lot allowed for animals to be kept there? Maybe they should have turned it into a pig sty and that would have solved the whole problem.

Anonymous said...

Come on, 7:18, we know about the animals, the weeds that could have been but were not. Actually grazing animals might have been more pleasant than what those residents are faced with now. Come to think of it the new building actually looks like a poorly designed barn. I've seen some really nice looking barns but this one is an eyesore.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering why my post did not appear. Casey I hope you are not omitting post simply because they don't agree with your candidate or your cause.

Anonymous said...

Casey, I can't understand why some of your readers fail to understand why the neighbors are opposed to Fat Mamas.

First, the area has changed dramatically when the Depot turned Condo, making the area fully residential. Residential areas in historic downtown districts create the charm; bars do not. People pay for carriage rides and take walking tours to see well-maintained homes (paid for by the citizens who also pay taxes).

Second, the neigbors were not fully opposed until Fat Mamas refused to have an enclosed patio and insisted on a drive-thru window. Can't everyone understand the noise of these two factors in a residential area? Everyone knows that Fat Mamas is not a restaurant; it's primarily a bar that serves bar food. Ask yourself if you would like a patio bar with piped music playing constantly and the noise of drunks near your home. Moreover, would you like it if the Board of Alderman overturned their own zoning commission to allow for a drive-thru window in your neighborhood? Ask yourself how would you feel if you asked for help from the court system, and that system went along with the board of aldermen, saying they didn't want to go against elected officials, but you knew those officials were so short-sighted that they would kill the goose that laid the golden egg? Ask yourself how you would feel if your own alderwoman ignored your plea even though your restored home is integral to the very atmosphere that brings tourists to the area?

Third, citizens, like myself, who live in the Historic District near Fat Mamas have to play by the rules. We have things approved; we follow the preservation board guidelines. We do this in order to maintain the district and to keep up our property value. How would you feel if you were playing by the rules, but businesses in the district could gain approval and then change their plan according to their personal needs? How would you feel if the ones who break the rules succeed in lowering your property value?

Citizens of Natchez need to support the fight against Fat Mamas because your property may be next!

Anonymous said...

O.k....who ever posted on 5/08/2008 11:51 AM, I was with you until you said the alderman from the area ignored the situation. Yesterday, I saw Joyce Mathis with the city attorney looking over the problem. These blogs are a great way to get issues out to the public. But it can also be a double edge sword. If one statement is untrue, it makes the other statements questionable.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please give us a re-cap of the meeting today regarding Fat Mamas.