Mayor, judge should work togetherPublished 12:00am Sunday, December 2, 2012
For far too long the City of Natchez has struggled with an issue that should be a fairly routine one — enforcing its own city codes.
In the latest war of words over the issue, Natchez Mayor Butch Brown and Natchez Municipal Court Judge Jim Blough are still in disagreement on exactly how to go about properly citing residents for abandoned vehicles, high grass or other routine code violations.
The problem, it appears, is that Blough and Brown don’t seem to sit down and talk about the issue, or at least that’s our impression based on the back-and-forth conversations they’ve had about the matter in this newspaper.
At the moment, Brown is set about ignoring an Attorney General’s ruling that Blough says makes the city’s current code enforcement plans illegal.
Further, Brown is intent on essentially hiring his own municipal judge to deal with the matter through the creation of a new municipal judge pro tem, presumably a position that would answer to the mayor and board of aldermen. As an elected official, Blough answers to voters, not the mayor and board.
If we can all agree to start with the basics, perhaps a resolution can be worked.
We all can agree that the city needs to be able to enforce its own rules, particularly those that affect the look of the community and the property values of neighbors.
Beyond that, we all can agree that smart men like Brown and Blough should be able to sit down, discuss the matter and work out a solution that works for all involved.
Until that happens, city properties aren’t the only thing that will remain blighted.