Recreation: Reps. hope for unity

Published 12:09am Thursday, February 21, 2013

NATCHEZ — Representatives from the City of Natchez and Adams County’s government will meet next week to see if all parties are still ready to play ball when it comes to a countywide recreation program.

The Natchez aldermen and the county supervisors have set a meeting for 10 a.m. next Thursday to discuss the possibility of hiring a recreation director for the future consolidated program.

Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission Chair Tate Hobdy said, ideally, both governments will come out of the meeting with a unified vision for the recreation program.

In recent months, communication between the two boards about the issue has been conducted largely through the recreation commission itself and through local news media, Hobdy said.

“We are trying to get them together because each party has a different perception of what the other party wants to do, so this is an opportunity for them to sit down and iron out the details face to face,” he said.

“We want them to give us some direction on what they want us to do. Our board can’t act until their boards come to a decision, so we hope to have some clarity once they come together and talk it out.”

The recreation commission has proposed hiring a director for the countywide program as a first step forward, with the county contributing $45,000 to the director’s salary and turning over the county recreation budget to the director. Under the proposal, the City of Natchez would pay the director’s benefits, provide a vehicle and $15,000 in salary.

The county board of supervisors voted earlier this month to allocate a prorated salary of $15,000 for fiscal year 2012-2013, but stopped short of dedicating funding for next year. The Natchez aldermen have deferred any action until they can meet with the supervisors.

Adams County Supervisor David Carter — who formerly served on the recreation commission and is now the supervisors’ ex-officio representative on the commission — said the county is committed to seeing recreation move forward.

“We are not trying to make leaps and bounds, we are just taking small steps,” Carter said. “We may be years away from a complex, but the one thing I am trying to say is there is a lot we can do right now that isn’t being done, things like fundraising and program development.

“We want to work with the city to create a positive recreational atmosphere, because city residents are county residents, too, so when the city benefits the county does as well.”

Alderman Mark Fortenbery, the city’s ex-officio recreation commission member, said the issue thus far has been that when everyone comes to the table, everybody has a different agenda.

“We just need to sit down and figure out how we want recreation under one umbrella,” Fortenbery said. “It is kind of like I am at the point where I don’t care who puts in what — let’s make this work. This has been going on for four years, let’s see if we can work this out because we all work for the people who voted for this, both city and county.”

The meeting will be in the city council chambers.

 

  • Anonymous

    Fortenberry needs to understand that THE PEOPLE DIDN’T VOTE FOR THIS….

  • Anonymous

    The railroad is back in town….

  • Anonymous

    I did

  • Anonymous

    What is the County’s Recreation Budget, does it match the city’s?

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    I’m telling you folks in all my 65 years these moneybags in Natchez runs Adams county by stepping on the shoulders of the beatup taxpayers to foot the bills and it just isn’t the way it should be done!! County folks want the two fire stations before this foolishness endless pit of money!! Why is it always the NATCHEZ WAY instead of the sensible way during these bad economical times??!! I feel that these local politicians are ate up with jealousy of the Vidalia rec. complex and wanting their names on a monument !! Matters as this needs to be put back on the ballot and a revote on who is wanting a rec. complex before letting these politicians force more taxes on the property owners is only fair the way I see it!! Get the casinos or the new plants to foot the bills or the moneybags of Natchez forcing the issue !!

  • Anonymous

    How long are they going to keep harping on that “but the people voted for it” crap? Doess a one time approval last forever? I would wager
    that a good percentage of those people that voted for it have probably moved from there, or changed their minds.
    It’s been 4+ years since this referendum vote, I think it may be time to vote againand see how the people feel.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    I did too but the vote was the county had the money to build it and no added taxes and the vote was to see the interest NOT to build it after the vote-so get it and tell it correct!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Stutzman/100000914851900 Joe Stutzman

    this rec discussion has prob been ongoing for 30 yrs. im 62 and dont think ill live to see ANYTHING happen. the few “parks” w have are run down.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    You are so correct and the politician don’t want a revote for the people don’t want it for that is why they are forcing the issue!! The city has a endless pit called the convention center and I don’t want to see the county with the same as a rec. complex with all the added other year round expenses that will cripple property owners taxpayers for years to come!!! Wheres the money going to come from thru these railroad deals in Adams county for the taxpayers want to know??!!

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    It more like 40 years for we were told numerous times by the BOA & BOS that it wasn’t in the budgets and this was when we were booming with all the plants, oilfield going and how on earth are they going to do it now with such a bad economy!! Lets be grown up folks and be realistic on this matter for we don’t want to stay up with the Jones’!!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the young people I see around town want anything. The white boys just speed around in their pickup trucks. The black boys waddle around in their South Pole size 28-42 ugly jeans with matching 3X ugly pullovers. The white girls run around chasing both. The black girls are too busy cursing and texting. Hobdy just wants to be somebody really bad, a real politico wannabee. I voted for the vague, ambiguous rec theme that was tossed towards us with no more taxes on me. What th is talking about I did not vote for. If anything is built it will be destroyed in months by these young ne’er do wells who are bored, stupid, and do not care.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think this would be for your young people around town. Instead, they want it to be a “tournament complex” that brings in out of town money.
    Locals can play on the things they have now, not make a scheduling conflict for tournaments. And here is refresher article from the Democrat from last July about what the hired study said: http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2012/07/17/calling-in-a-coach-county-wants-to-see-recreation-director-hired/
    (Excellent comments included)

  • Anonymous

    Let me state a FACT: one that CANNOT be disputed!

    A number of years ago ( when the convention center was still on Liberty Road!), the public was informed by the “Tourism Guru” of the time that “the reason Natchez didn’t get more conventions was because we didn’t have an 18-hole golf course! If we had 18 hole, the conventions would flock in, ’cause they ALL wanted to play golf!”.

    And so, the public/ officials bought into it, and the course grew by 9 holes.
    What happened? Where were all the conventions that would be flocking here? We were TOLD that they were coming.
    Am I to believe the new crowd that is harping about more recreation?
    Same song and dance, just different players and dancers.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I am reading a different article or don’t understand ya’ll. Sounds like they are just trying to get a director to replace the retired one. The city wants the county to chip in out of their budget. Carter has said the complex is a long way off. Just time to plan. Let’s start consolidation!!! Next may be the fire dept budgets just added together and the stations moved around a bit. Consolidation !!! Everybody will be “Happy Happy Happy”

  • Anonymous

    I propose a re-vote with ballot breakdown by property owners (business or homeowners) who pay property taxes, those who pay no property taxes due to homestead exemption, and those who rent homes, apartments, etc. and pay no property taxes. You will likely get a huge NO vote from those who pay taxes and a larger YES from those who pay no taxes and thus have no vested interest in the outcome other than loading up someone else with taxes. If anything, this should be a tax on those hotels that are going to fill up with the tournament visitors, restaurants who are going to fill up with same, and a sales tax that EVERYONE has to pay to fund this debacle. Wake up Natchez Adams County taxpayers and raise your voices now before you get railroaded into this thing!

  • Anonymous

    Everyone except Khakirat.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Consolidation is license for the politicians to steal from the taxpayers!! County shouldn’t have anything to with this by no means for if its in the city its the city and vice or verse of the county!! Country folks don’t give a hoot about a director of recreation and as far as what Carter saying I wouldn’t hold my breath for this railroad deal ! Again the county taxpayers don’t want a endless money pit as that of the city convention center that was railroaded by city leaders and others and you see the fix they are in now!! Terrible Situation huh’??!!

  • Anonymous

    There was only one guy here that said he’d seen a cost spreadsheet, but that wasn’t true. The “vote” was just like asking “who wants ice cream?” (We’ll worry about who’s going to pay for it later). Build the pool where the hole was for the first one that closed.

    There ain’t no grant coming for this.

  • Anonymous

    I love our Duncan Park, love playing tennis and love hearing the summer noise during baseball season….and watching the golfers in the background. What is the most embarrassing thing…. is the “BATHROOM FACILITY” at Duncan Park Tennis, baseball and Golf areas. We all have ignored the “BATHROOM FACILITIES” there. It is a embarrassment to have out of town guest come to the Tennis Courts and use the Bathroom Facility there. **If you have never used this facility please stop by and check it out. Why can’t we at least update these BATHROOMS now…..let’s not wait out all of the political drama on a new rec. center when we have a wonderful city park that exist now! . Tennis Courts, Baseball fields and Golf Course… need new Bathroom Facilities now…..