Do you care about others in your city?Published 12:05am Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Natchez voters head to the polls today to select the city’s next mayor and aldermen in two wards.
Election season is almost always a time of hope as voters look to the future.
After a tumultuous couple of years in city government, many local political watchers are hopeful that some bit of respect and civility can be restored to city government.
Both traits woefully are lacking. Quite frankly, however, most citizens don’t really care anymore. They just shake their heads and look the other way, unless a matter directly affects them.
Former Speaker of the House, U.S. Rep. Tip O’Neill famously quipped, “All politics is local.” But one cannot easily see just how local until you talk to voters.
Most voters in Natchez seem more worried about the quality of the asphalt in front of their own house than whether or not the city’s budget is balanced, the casino deal is fair or if simple, basic things such as drainage or housing standards are up to par across the city.
All too often, Natchez issues are not about “us” but about “me.”
As a city, we are, in some ways, much more selfish, much less concerned about our neighbors than we were 20 or 30 years ago.
Sadly, that selfishness permeates almost all aspects of government — from day-to-day city operations to nearly non-existent long-range planning.
That’s probably true about America as a whole, too, but Natchez is small enough to change itself.
As long as that persists in our community, we’ll continue to burn through mayors every four years and aldermen will keep squabbling rather than working together to improve the whole of the community.
Let’s hope we can look in the mirror, collectively, and begin to change our ways. It could start today. Please remember to vote.