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City unfairly asking for rec money

Everything in government comes down to money and power — even when youth sports and children’s parks are on the table.

This week after years of playing coy about recreation matters, Natchez Mayor Butch Brown put his foot down. He said, effectively, the city will pick up its recreation marbles and go home, at least unless Adams County opts to commit some arbitrary monetary commitment to a city-county recreation effort.

For years the city, county and school board have attempted — at least on the surface — to work together on recreation matters. Logically, pooling the group’s resources simply makes fiscal sense.

Instead, the City of Natchez wants to effectively double dip from its residents by forcing Adams County’s government to pay what the city believes is its “fair share.”

While we understand the superficial logic at play here, what the city is proposing is unfair to city property owners.

All city property owners also pay county property tax. As the county increases its spending on recreation, almost certainly some of the additional tax dollars would come from taxes on city residents who are already funding the city’s existing recreation efforts.

The city-county recreation commission has made a simple request of the city and county leadership: Agree to hire a professional recreation director and allow that person and the volunteer rec commission determine how best to spend the combined city-county recreation budgets.

Unfortunately, the city doesn’t want to give up the power over the money involved. The question is: Why not?