Who will be the mayor of tomorrow?

Published 12:02am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It’s time to find the mayor of tomorrow.

No, it’s not the man who won the majority of votes in last night’s city elections. He’s only the mayor for four years, maybe eight.

He’s no spring chicken — no offense, Mr. Mayor-to-be — and he does not represent the long-term future of Natchez.

What Natchez needs to spend the next four years finding is what it’s been missing for the last 12 or more years — a long-term leader.

Not since a young Tony Byrne warmed the mayor’s chair in City Hall has this community had a young, promising leader who stuck around for a while.

Instead, the voters of Natchez seem to enjoy watching the door to the mayor’s office spin.

If the mayor’s doing a bad job, he needs to be replaced, yes.

But it’s a catch-22. Replacing a mayor every four years will never take a city far.

The lessons learned in the first term are necessary for a successful second term. The knowledge of an incumbent is always greater than that of a green challenger.

The race for the mayor’s office this year was full of familiar faces. It made things interesting, and was the right thing for this race.

But Natchez can’t continue to rely on the leaders of the past to carry us into tomorrow. They simply won’t be around forever.

Instead, our community must begin cultivating new, younger blood.

And that may have to be a community project.

Unfortunately, many in the younger generations place greater value on free time, personal space and lack of commitments than those who’ve gone before.

The younger set may simply not aspire to a role in the public eye.

But that stereotype doesn’t apply to everyone. Natchez just has to find the right man or woman for the job.

Those who have been around the block must begin passing responsibility on to those coming up behind, realizing that praise and encouragement is a must.

The younger generations must be willing to step up, take responsibility and view the city’s success and failures as their own.

Tomorrow’s leader is out there. He or she simply has yet to show himself.

Many voters would tell you they desired — this year, even — to elect the leader of tomorrow.

It wasn’t an option this year, but what we lost in youth we gained in experience on the primary ballot.

It was a fair trade — this time.

With an election season behind us, it’s time to begin making plans for our long-term future.

Where is Natchez going? What do we want to be? Who will we become? How will our history play a role? How will our future be different?

And, who will lead us?

This community has many unanswered questions, but we have four years to answer them.

 

Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or julie.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

 

  • Wiley Jones

    Am I reading this wrong? Or is Julie Cooper the worst idiot of an idiot that we have ever had in my 62 years?  This little pot-shot makes not sense.  After a landslide victory for a Mayor it really seems that any editor with any since would get on the side of the overshelming majority and rally behind the new dynamic leadership instead of question it.    >>> ????  <<<<  

  • Anonymous

    Well placed comments Julie.  Most of promising youth is leaving Natchez for more fertile employment opportunities.  Those that stay and make it into Aldermen or other positions of public focus are manipulated by the others to suit the old way of doing things, or along racially motivated lines.  While Tate has been in the limelight for the last year or so, his failure to move along the controversial rec. complex and the fact that it is controversial will likely kill any vision he may have to run for high office.  Try Key Smith?

  • Anonymous

    Reading it wrong.  Simply stating reality and pointing out that the younger generation will need to step up as the old political machine(s) retire away.  Lots of Aldermen/Supervisors etc. will begin to fade out or be replaced in the foreseeable future and those are the positions that could groom a new top leader.  Too bad some did not get defeated in this election so we could have at least 4 years of Butch rule to groom them for the future.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Julie. I have to agree with OSG was well worded with facts but I feel Wiley Jones is out of line for useing labels as he had toward you for he sounds very desperate!!! Julie I know you didn’t live here when Tony Bryne was mayor all those years and it was published that he was making more money than any mayor in the state of Ms. that got the attention of a lot of city taxpayers. We don’t want individuals to hold a seat in public office over people over long periods of time as in the BOA with controversy and drama for we need action and new ideals and commerce!!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s time the city move it’s boundary lines and extend the city limits. I know a lot of people moved their homes, businesses, to evade city taxes but now maybe it’s time to start thinking about improving the voting status. We ‘city’ dwellers realize we depend on the county dwellers to keep Natchez going. There is a big ole world out there (Adams County) that does not agree with most voters in town, yet have to contend with who and what the town voters vote for or against. They need their voices heard. But it is a pro-con decision. It’s time to weigh the pros and cons.  

  • Anonymous

    You are a vicious little ferret, aren’t you.

  • Anonymous

    THE CITY OF NATCHEZ JUST PASTED UP A FEATURE FOR NATCHEZ MS. MANY ARE AFRAID OF CHANGE, AND MANY ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE. COMPARING BROWN WITH FURLOW IS LIKE COMPAIRING BETTER WITH SWEET. IF THE YOUNGER PEOPLE ARE NOT ABLE TO BRING ABOUT CHANGES IN NATCHEZ MS. IT WILL NEVER CHANGE. IF ANYONE THINK THAT BROWN RAN FOR MAYOR BECAUSE HE LOVE NATCHEZ AND WANT TO DO GOOD THINGS FOR NATCHEZ, GOT TO BE OUT OF THERE MINE. ANYTHING THAT THIS MAN DO FOR NATCHEZ, YOU CAN BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR THERE’S GOING TO BE SOMETHING IN IT FOR HIM. WHAT HE IS GOING TO DO IS NO DIFFERENT THAN WHAT HE DID BEFORE. HE’S GOING TO BRING SOMETHING TO NATCHEZ WITH A FEW JOB, TO THROW THOSE OFF THAT BELIEVE IN HIM. AFTER HE MAKE THEM FEEL THAT HE KEPT HIS PROMISE, HIS MO-JOE WILL KICK IN. HE IS GOING TO POCKET AS MUCH MONEY AS HE CAN. HE HAS NO OTHER CHOICE; HE’S BROKE AND HEADED INTO RETIREMENT; SO THIS IS HIS LAST CHACE. HE HAD A GOOD JOB AND LOST IT. I REALLY FEELS SORRY FOR NATCHEZ MS. THIS MAN CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS WITH NATCHEZ, MS. AND DON’T HE’S NOT. 

  • Anonymous

    BROWN IS NO MORE THAN THE PAST; I HAVE NOTICE SOME ARE AFRAID OF HIM. HE DO HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF DICTATE IN HIM. FURLOW IS THE FEATURE. FURLOW WOULD HAVE MOVED THIS CITY INTO THE FEATURE. I RESPECT THE PEOPLE THAT PLACED HIM IN CHARGE, BUT I ALSO KNOW YOU’LL ARE LOOKING FOR GREAT THINGS FROM HIM.  “TIME TELLS ALL”.  

  • Anonymous

    Leave the city limits alone, just combine the governments into a single entity to reduce the number of positions/departments/duplication.  City dwellers would continue to pay similar taxes due to central sewer, etc. while county stays much the same. 

  • Anonymous

    For crying out loud WOULDITKILLYOUTOSPEAKIN English?

  • Anonymous

    How does BETTER compare with SWEET DD?  PLEASE,TELLUSALL.  WHATHEDOFORNATCHEZ?

  • vilou09

    It’s because of his Mo-Joe…. Duh!

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Consolidation will never work but let the politicians tax the taxpayers more and leave our Sheriff along for they are the only ones that deserves their checks of the county!!!