New Natchez leaders take office today

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 30, 2000

F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith is anxious to take his seat behind the mayor’s desk at Natchez City Hall.

&uot;I guess the butterflies might start the closer it gets,&uot; Smith said. &uot;I’m excited about it and ready to get started.&uot;

Smith, City Clerk-elect Donnie Holloway and new Ward 2 Alderman James &uot;Ricky&uot; Gray will be sworn in at 10 a.m. today at Natchez Council Chambers on South Pearl Street.

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The re-elected aldermen – Joyce Arceneaux, Ward 1; Sue Stedman, Ward 3; Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West, Ward 4; David Massey, Ward 5; and Jake Middleton, Ward 6, will also be sworn in as representatives of the city.

Because Monday and Tuesday are city holidays, new officials will not begin work until Wednesday, but they said they are anxious to get started.

Smith spent much of the week in Biloxi attending the Mississippi Municipal League conference, along with many other city officials.

Holloway also attended the five-day conference, where he met with other clerks from across the state and exchanged information. &uot;It was very rewarding,&uot; he said of the conference. &uot;I’m definitely going to put some (of the information) to use.&uot;

Holloway said he is &uot;ready to get off running.&uot;

Four years ago, Stedman stood in Smith and Holloway’s place as a newly-elected official on the verge of service. Stedman said her advice to the new officials would be to get involved as quickly as possible and &uot;learn what the facts are.&uot; She said there is danger in &uot;operating on hearsay,&uot; and always remember, &uot;there are two sides to every story.&uot;

And last but not least, &uot;be responsive to the people you serve,&uot; she said.