JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT —  Less than 24 hours after they were removed from the fencing at the top of Roth Hill Road in Natchez, two large banners for Magnolia Bluffs Casino were back on display on Saturday.
JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT —
Less than 24 hours after they were removed from the fencing at the top of Roth Hill Road in Natchez, two large banners for Magnolia Bluffs Casino were back on display on Saturday.

Archived Story

Despite city ordinance, casino signs are back up

Published 12:06am Sunday, March 3, 2013

NATCHEZ — A day after city officials took down signs for the Magnolia Bluffs Casino, the business has replaced the banners at the top of Roth Hill Road.

The signs — which direct customers to the casino at the bottom of Roth Hill — were taken down Friday because Natchez planning department officials said the casino did not have a permit for the signs, which also violate city sign size restrictions. City Planner Frankie Legaux said at the time she had contacted the casino’s management to remove the signs Monday, but they remained until code enforcement officer Anita Smith removed them.

Casino President Kevin Preton said Friday the signs were needed because potential customers did not know how to get to the casino, which opened in December.

Saturday afternoon, Preston said the signs were replaced Friday evening after unsuccessfully trying to contact Legaux.

“In respect to the business, we need to leave the signs up until we can come up with a plan,” Preston said. “We are trying to do the right thing.”

The casino president said he would be meeting with Natchez Mayor Butch Brown Monday morning to come to an agreement about the sign issue.

“We want to work with the city to come up with the best plan we can,” Preston said.

Brown said Saturday that the casino had violated the spirit of the law by putting the signs back up, but — while the city has the right to take the signs down again — he saw no reason “in the spirit of harmony” to take action over the weekend.

“If they are willing to pay the fines that will be imposed, I think we can live another day with the sign up,” Brown said. “You get a ticket for speeding, you get a ticket for driving around a stopped school bus, you get a citation for all sorts of violations, and those violations are covered by laws and ordinances that are in place. It doesn’t allow for a selective use of those ordinances, they belong and apply to everyone, and as the chief executive officer of the City of Natchez, I will enforce the laws and ordinances of the city.”

“The fact that they have taken it upon themselves to knowingly violate the law is going to impede any conciliatory situation we were going to work out. Obstinacy in this instance is certainly punishable.”

  • Anonymous

    Keep driving the nails in another business coffin

  • Anonymous

    Typical Natchez

  • Anonymous

    They won’t stay in Natchez very long, they will go where they are treated better.

  • Anonymous

    Somebody from the Pile Of Debris is probably whining. Only Natchez would risk running a huge business out of town. The city certainly doesn’t care about all of the OTHER illegal signs around town. Hell, they’re on every telephone pole, yards, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Look, nobody in this town, and I don’t care who they are, should be able to get around our city’s code. Come on, Kevin and his “business” are not going to leave….not that easy. He can put banners up, just go sign the paperwork…..He can put up wood sign’s, just go through the process that we all have to do. Why would you guys want the Magnolia Casino to be above the law? This is not a big thing…Kevin should just pay his fine on Monday and go on with his quest “legally” to put up directional signs, temporarily or permanently .

  • Anonymous

    The casino is to follow the local laws just like the mom and pop stores have to. If the casino did not know that before moving to town, shame on them. :)

  • https://plus.google.com/101785462960818953428/posts Wilson Phillips

    The Isle doesn’t have a big sign at the top of Silver St., or on Canal St. There are just small “Historic Natchez” street signs that point the way down the hill. People don’t seem to have any problem finding it. If they do, they can call the casino, or any hotel, or ask anyone on the street for directions.

    Mr Preston is just trying to skirt the law as long as his can. He should have to play by the same rules as everyone else.

  • Anonymous

    I believe the CEO of natchez needs to take a ride down East Woodlawn off of MLK, and Cloverdale, and several other roads and make sure all buildings are up to code and no junk is layin around in yards, and stuff like that…Dont just pick on the new casino because one of your friends is whining about a little banner directing traffic to a business that has already created several jobs in Natchez and probably pays the cities light bill!! This boils down to someone thats a friend of the CEO off the city is griping and whining about the sign…..

  • Anonymous

    Looks like we have another ego in town. I wonder if the two will shake hands Monday morning, or bow to one another?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the Mayor 100% on this. If you cannot follow small things in the Code, well,…what DO you want to follow? And it tells me alot about the casino guys; they have 0 respect for the enforcement of the Laws of this City. My gut feeling about them has never been good, anyway.
    Get ‘em, Mayor.

  • Robert Frye

    Come on people! If there is one thing you can be sure of, there isn’t a bunch of fools running the casino. This is all about “what else” needs to happen for them to get approval for their signs.

  • Anonymous

    Drive around Natchez before you agree too much. The city has been doing “selective enforcement” since the 60s. Go down MLK and look at the signs and trash at the businesses. Most violate the code. Look downtown and you will find signs that violate the code. Go out 61 and you will find things that violate the code. These Businesses that are in violation are friends with some people. If you ain’t in
    the click, you will be told to take down your sign or you will be told how high your fence can be (Big Mamma’s) or they will pester you with minor violations till you are sick of it.

  • https://plus.google.com/101785462960818953428/posts Wilson Phillips

    The city has bent over backward to cater to this company. They have been treated like royalty for several years.

  • Anonymous

    You would think that the casino heads would have long ago figured out how freaking unfriendly to business Natchez can be during the extended negotiations leading up to them locating here. Typical for our local leaders, beg companies to come to Natchez, beg them to spend their money, now pay our fees, fees, and more fees, pay your taxes, but don’t you dare put up a temporary sign like so many others do around town. Been here my whole life but am getting more disgusted with Natchez with every passing year.

    Folks, we are not Madison, MS nor Germantown, TN, we are a unique river town known as Natchez, MS which has it’s own unique character and I worry this code rewrite is going to end up destroying that unique character while Brown and his ilk steady try to turn us into the version of Madison we see out along the interstate, but please realize much of what we see close to the interstate was cow pastures and woods before Nissan came to town. When you are building all new stuff in an area with no existing businesses then you can make them all look the same cookie cutter style. Now we have businesses on one side of the road with tall signs while a new business that might build across the road will be relegated to signs and landscaping like the new Wendies. If that is what we, as a community want so be it, let’s do it right after Brown gets the state to pay to put a Nissan or Toyota plant locate in Adams county then maybe there will be enough new construction that those areas can be stylized to this new non-Natchez standard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1466697822 Anne Power

    The casino had plenty of time during construction and in the months since opening to properly address the signage issues. This is simply a matter of very poor planning on the part of the casino management. The casino just dropped the ball there.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to have to agree with most here. While I think this is petty, get EVERYONE who violates and not just a select few! It would make NO sense to spend time to woo and cater to an industry then spend half as much time running it away. The casino should have left the signs down if the city took them down, but again, enforce this code ACROSS THE BOARD. Natchez still runs deep with nepotism. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got no time for that!!!”

  • Anonymous

    So are you suggesting that maybe the right contribution has not been made to the right fund to get the approval for a permanent sign??

  • dotfromks

    Why should everyone in Natchez be surprised that Kevin Preston is allowed to get away with murder? This all started back Day 1 when the former Mayor, the Board of Aldermen (except Dan) and former City Attorney in the famous back office meetings, put this all in motion. This is only the beginning of things to come. Now the question becomes, how will this all be handled? If a dam has a leak, you plug it, you don’t wait for the crack to spread that eventually causes a flood.

  • Anonymous

    Tomorrow we will see some ego bumping going on.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Well, the way I see it is there are violations thru out Natchez an Adams county B.Brown may be faced with 3 piece suits that may sue the city of Natchez for multi-millions for picking on the casinos with violations all around and the city isn’t pulling their signs down as the Brown mayor election sign that he had illigal that was suppose to be taken down!! So, this is one sided as that of the Natchez way huh’??!!

  • Anonymous

    Rules? Natchez? The town where Nellie Jackson, who openly had a prostitution business for 50 years in the city limits without interruption in providing a very important service to her customers, has a problem with businesses following…Rules???
    Rules? Natchez? The town where every Christmas Eve leaders of the community ride around town in their vehicles drinking and throwing candy to kids along the streets which would make it so easy for the driver under the influence to possibly run over one or two along the route…(not all of them drink…I just hope those who aren’t are behind the wheel)…but…I know there is a rule violation somewhere in this event?
    Rules? Natchez???
    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Milteer

    All the casino has to do is remove the sign on the 16th day and put it back up on the 17th day for another 15 days. Simple.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I agree, to a certain extent,attaboy2. Rules are rules and laws are laws. PERIOD. I could only WISH they would appoint me onto a committee dealing with code enforcement. I have 0 attachments to any of the power brokersd in town, so it would be easy to enforce. Even better, I wish I could be something like a parking enforcement person, ’cause I DETEST the cars that are parked illegally in loading zones, trolley stops or handicapped spaces. But you see violators ALL THE TIME, with zero concern from the police. I have seen a police cruiser just cruise on by cars parked illegally, and no interest shown in enforcement. I’m fat as a tick, and if I can walk a distance to get to a store, I am sure that others can, too.
    ENFORCEMENT for ALL or for NONE. You can TRY to have it both ways, but then you yourself are breaking the law.
    It is all SO VERY SIMPLE to follow the law, or is it just me??!!

  • Anonymous

    True, true, Mr. Wilson. But, we all know, the more you give ‘em, the more they expect.

  • douglas smith

    Don’t know what its hurting. Either way never understood why Natchez needed two casino’s. If they leave, good. Maybe the poor would stop spending their checks thinking they will get ahead. All casino’s do is feed on the poor.

  • Anonymous

    Nellie didn’t even need a sign. Offer a unique product at a fair price and people will find you.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Now I like that-Thats funny!!!

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Again , what about the sign that wasn’t in code that B.Brown had at his so call house??!! This just isn’t right or fair to anyone period especially businesses but Natchez hasn’t ever been a business friendly an if you wasn’t a seven generation of Natchez that owned antebellum homes your out of luck opening a business huh’??!!

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Do you reckon we can buy tickets to watch for we might learn something!!

  • Milteer

    She had those “Follow Me To Nellie’s” t-shirts.

  • Anonymous

    Jeez, just let them have the signage until they can get something else appropriate. Not many people would drive over the edge of a cliff for nothing! This ain’t kindergarten folks!!!

  • Anonymous

    If they don,t bus them in,where are the monies coming from in this area,they are no jobs,unless the Ebit cards keep them going,they use them in strip clubs and casino,s everywhere else.

  • Anonymous

    MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

    Debit cards are given to less fortunate families in Connecticut by state officials to help them purchase food, but Eyewitness News learned that some people were using the cards at strip clubs, casinos and tobacco shops.

  • Anonymous

    Magnolia Bluffs can,t compete with the Isle,s buffett,crab legs,boiled shrimp,fried shrimp,and a host of other goodies,for $11.00 went to Magnolia Bluffs,the eats were plain,bland and not much of a choice,not as good as a regular Ryans and no door greeters for a new business,nobody walking around welcoming guests or any or very few promotional signs,etc..plain jane for a casino,they don,t have much to offer

  • Anonymous

    I always thought Nellie’s was a social club, my mom told me you could get social diseases from going there.

  • Anonymous

    Are you sure????????????

  • http://twitter.com/ctgraning Tom Graning

    then find out why all the bannners are still up at the Sprint Marts??????

  • http://twitter.com/ctgraning Tom Graning

    Like I said…ride around and look at the Sprint Marts and tell me they are following the code

  • Anonymous

    Fact Here is That Preston is willing to pay fine of say $50 bucks for an extra 100 people to visit his place at the 1st of the month I for one think its business genius, although a misdemeanor it’s about the $$$$$

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Yea, like Vidalia huh’??!!

  • Anonymous

    Just tell them where they can post an advertisement and all other details, then let them be! Easy peasy japanesy!

  • Anonymous

    How have you got time to see them since you are dashing outside every few minutes to raise your prices?

  • Anonymous

    Too funny!

  • Anonymous

    I hardly think having these signs up is “getting away with murder”. Though if you want to talk about that then ask Judge Lilly.

  • Anonymous

    silly dumb people give them some damn signs, they spent 45 million dollars!! not too many standing in line to do that..be damn sure to make everybody involved fighting mad!!! thats the natchez way. the city has fought these people at everycorner its ridiculous….get a grip.sound just like congress….yes its an act of congress to get anything done in Natchez too….what the hell?

  • Anonymous

    Uh huh!!!

  • Anonymous

    She’ll let them off for signs also…..

  • Anonymous

    I agree with what you said here Catfish, However, Cloverdale is not in the city and is not the responsibility of the CEO/Mayor of Natchez.. I am sure that it was not the code enforcement officers that found this problem. The reason being, they have not found or drawn attention to any other violations in the city. I am pretty sure that it was the Isle of Capri that made the complaints. I am also sure that this new casino is hurting the Isle’s business because their casino is a Joke for a casino… Just my two cents.. I have not visited either one, just know competing businesses tend to find all of these faults to throw off the balance between the competing business and the city..