Public comment period erupts into shouting match

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Time set aside for public comment during the Natchez Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday erupted into a shouting match as Natchez resident Gene Simonton continued to voice his complaints after Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith and aldermen attempted to silence him citing time restraints.

Simonton, a local business owner, read a prepared letter at the meeting expressing strong disapproval of the city’s tax abatement policies and the way Natchez Police, specifically Police Chief Willie Huff, handled an arrest involving his son.

Later in the meeting, another local businessman and recent mayorial candidate John &uot;Pulleybone&uot; Pullen joined Simonton in voicing concerns over the way the aldermen handle the taxpayers’ money.

Email newsletter signup

Pullen chided those aldermen who served under former Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown for &uot;doing everything (Brown) asked,&uot; and said the Natchez Visitor Reception Center should be shut down and taxes left as they are.

In other business, the aldermen:

4Ammended portions of the city’s downtown parking ordinance. Recommended by Huff, the amendment removes two-hour restrictions on certain downtown parking spots, making them open to &uot;all day&uot; parking.

4Accepted the resignation of Luther Dangerfield, Natchez-Adams Economic Development Authority board member. Dangerfield resigned citing health reasons, leaving 14 active members, only three of which are still under contract.

4Tabled a motion to amend the city map which would change property located on South Canal Street, across from the Natchez Visitor Reception Center, from residential to general business use.

Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux and Ward 3 Alderman Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West requested the motion be tabled until possible concerns of neighboring church members can be addressed.