faced

Archived Story

Recreation director is first step

Published 12:18am Monday, February 11, 2013

This week the Adams County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support the hiring of a recreation director for Natchez-Adams County. While all supervisors may have had different reasons to support this position, I wanted to share my opinion on why I voted yes and why I think now is the proper timing for hiring a recreation director.

The battle to build a new recreation complex has consumed the spotlight for all recreation issues relevant to Natchez-Adams County. While these talks have been on going long before I came in 2007, some issues have been heavily ignored. When I look at our recreation situation county wide, I see a lot of improvement that can be made, and none of them require a recreation complex.

To start with, we have little to nothing for our senior adults. While recreation is usually focused at youth, we must remember recreation is something that should impact all ages. Also, we have very little to offer middle age citizens. While adults do have the choice to play golf or tennis, which is already offered, isn’t there more that could be offered in a community that was just recently selected as a top retirement destination by Where to Retire magazine?

Furthermore, I’m not objecting but commending the city of Vidalia for offering such outstanding youth programs. They are so good, a significant portion of Natchez youth go there to participate in their programs. Sometimes this is because we don’t offer programs such as youth football or basketball. Then, sometimes people prefer Vidalia leagues over Natchez leagues because organization, structure or other reasons. Again, I compliment Vidalia for their success and thank the many volunteers that spend endless hours providing our youth with these opportunities. But could more be done to bring a higher level of professionalism, league collaboration and uniformity to youth sports in Natchez?

I must also wonder, could more be done outside of league sports to boost recreation? When I grew up, we had recreational summer camps, programs for youth with disabilities, sports and fitness programs, adult softball, special events, recreation fundraisers and more.

While I think the future of Natchez should have a modern-day recreational complex, all these things mentioned would greatly enhance our community without the need for a complex but only require a leader with a clear vision, positive energy and the resources to get the job done. The most powerful resource is volunteers, which we are blessed to have many of.

The new recreation director would fall under the supervision of the joint Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission. This would eliminate some of the hassle of governmental oversight and allow the person to work more aggressively answering solely to the recreation board, not me or other elected officials. This person should have the ability to work with and develop volunteers to help manage parks and programs. They should have a track record of financial management and fundraising experience. They should also have a background of developing programs outside youth sports, implementing new activities, and fostering a new identity of recreation in our community. They must have the ability to create a vision for recreation in our future, be able to articulate that vision and finally see it become fulfilled.

While this is no easy task, I feel if we find the right person through a wide search, outside our city and state, we can make immediate changes to recreation in our area. Then once these pieces start to fall in place, the need and understanding for a recreation complex may seem clearer to everyone.

 

David Carter is the Adams County supervisor representing District 2

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely correct. We are lucky to have a Board of Supervisors that is willing to work with the Board of Alderman toward a joint program with a director and take government and politics out of a public service. There is a lot of money spent from both county and city and nobody is in charge. 2 mil of the city taxes is earmarked recreation. From the last alderman meeting, it appears Gray, Mathis, Dillard and Fields want to keep their alternative motives of favortism and politics in place. Fortenberry, Smith and the mayor see the need for a director and this is a way to get the county to fund part of it and not be a sole expense of the city and move toward a consolidation. A no-brainer for the city. It is in city hands now, will the alderman vote toward the consolidation and loose their individual control? Their personal motives will not allow it.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Carter, I may be wrong but I know you were from La. and I think B/R and you can’t compare B/R to Natchez for as raising money for rec.and I’m sure you know that!! Adams county simple can’t afford this rec. complex and as I put it is that its tearing the guts out of you and the other city and county leaders of Vidalia rec. complex without a penny of taxes to the people!! Yah’ll need to scratch your heads and do the same for Adams county as we were told that the county had the money and it wouldn’t be any property taxes to raise when it was voted only to see the interest of the people period!! Naturally everyone voted for it and I bet a percentage of these people have moved out of Natchez since that vote!!

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    I know you wish this but all my neighbors that own their homes in the county don’t care for anymore taxes period and especially for a rec. center we want the county fire stations way before such!! Let the people that would use it pay for it not the taxpayers!! You being the coach at the high school makes you envision opportunity of possible be over it this rec. huh”??!! As far as consolidation is out on this issue for the BOS don’t need a rec. director for they can’t pay for it and they need to be cutting and not adding personal!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.carter.1044 David Carter

    Gene, I did move here from Baton Rouge but I am from a town of less than 2,000 people. Growing up, we had events for the senior citizens on weekends, my mom played in womens basketball leagues, I played football, baseball, basketball, and soccer and attended summer camps for sports, arts & crafts, and other activities through our recreation department. We had fundraisers like 5K runs and shotgun shoots and our little town finally built a small complex with 3 fields, a small indoor gym, walking trails, and some stuff for the little kids. Nothing huge but something the people were proud of and something the entire community benefited from and supported.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    County taxpayers see that the county fire stations are more important than rec. complex !! Duncan park and other points of Natchez and Adam county full fill what you described!! By the way my name isn’t Gene and I have a good ideal who gave you that name!! Need to start making some cuts in the spending and also haven’t heard anymore on the 4 million dollars of fines that haven’t been collected and have you the BOS gave a closed door treatment to Judge Vess as of yet??

  • Anonymous

    Gene, Gene, the balance is red
    None of the cash has gone green
    And the funds are so low
    You can forget them and so
    Come out to the ballfield, Gene.

    Gene, Gene, you’re young and alive
    Come out of your half-dreamed dream
    And run, if you will, to the top of the hill
    Open your wallet, Brother Gene

    Till the sheep in the county, come home my way
    Till the BoS fall around me and find me alone
    When the sun comes a-singin’, I’ll still be waitin’
    Brother Gene.

  • Anonymous

    I assume there was some divisiveness in the BOS making this decision since very little of your vision of improvements without the necessity of a super complex were mentioned in the original “announcement” article. OR, is ND trying to load the dice?

  • Anonymous

    David, I thought everyone knew that Vidalia has a 3.79 millage dedicated to recreation. They had to have that millage commited for 40 years for the Dept of Agriculture to loan the money. Some blogs think Vidalia built the complex with no taxes and no loans. I also commend Vidalia “director” Mark and his commitee for a job well done. Amazing what a good director can achieve. Hopefully with your efforts we can also get a good director and get the complex khakirat thinks Vidalia got for nothing.

  • Anonymous

    Gene, not a coach and dont work for a school. Just a private business owner that wants good and positive things for our community. Especially for people in their golden years such as yourself. Guess again.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    We need fire stations in the county way before rec. complex and Duncan park is to be used as other point of Natchez for what you described!! My name isn’t Gene by the way for that connection is wrong for one at the BOS probably put you on that path huh”??!!

    In a message dated 2/11/2013 3:59:49 P.M. Central Standard Time, notifications@disqus.net writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    David Carter wrote, in response to khakirat:
    Gene, I did move here from Baton Rouge but I am from a town of less than 2,000 people. Growing up, we had events for the senior citizens on weekends, my mom played in womens basketball leagues, I played football, baseball, basketball, and soccer and attended summer camps for sports, arts & crafts, and other activities through our recreation department. We had fundraisers like 5K runs and shotgun shoots and our little town finally built a small complex with 3 fields, a small indoor gym, walking trails, and some stuff for the little kids. Nothing huge but something the people were proud of and something the entire community benefited from and supported.

    _User’s website_ (http://www.facebook.com/david.carter.1044)
    _Link to comment_ (http://redirect.disqus.com/url?url=http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2013/02/11/recreation-director-is-first-step/#comment-795847299:jb vnZzq6wtIjh7ptPCbDpQ1sUwg&imp=95f26ecc-8c4a-4db6-8cf8-6f5c1f1a7618&zone=noti fications.clicks&forum=natchezdemocrat&thread=1076459018)

  • Anonymous

    Show us the spreadsheets FIRST, and build the pool in the same place where the last one failed (twice). Location is actually very good.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Vidalia council man told me otherwise!!

    In a message dated 2/11/2013 9:19:01 P.M. Central Standard Time, notifications@disqus.net writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    natchezbulldog wrote, in response to khakirat:
    You constantly are saying that Vidalia did it with out taxes. Please see this article. Vidalia has a 3.78 millage that the Dept of Agriculture demanded a 40 year continuance on before loaning them the money. http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2010/03/26/recreation-forums-set-in-vidalia/ Again, they borrowed money, they have almost twice as much millage as Natchez and they have a 40 year tax guarantee. They also got some grants. All done by a “director”. If Adams county had a director we may be able to do the same project just as you say Vidalia did. No “additional taxes” and just a long term guarantee of what millage we are paying to get the loan. And no I am not a coach nor do I work in a school. Guess again.

    _Link to comment_ (http://redirect.disqus.com/url?url=http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2013/02/11/recreation-director-is-first-step/#comment-795845007:F9 Yx5ZvLieMwKX1xe5A0IhpwFrw&imp=92f640d0-79c8-436d-9ba7-70893087202d&zone=noti fications.clicks&forum=natchezdemocrat&thread=1076459018)

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Pool, they couldn’t afford the liability insurance for there will be plenty of law suits coming!!