Aldermen jump quickly on flagpole bandwagon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2002

Leadership and responsibility are not part-time jobs for elected officials. No matter how tempting it may be, a leader cannot simply pick and choose issues for which they would like to take responsibility.

We were reminded of this earlier this week with news that the Natchez Board of Aldermen are interested in stepping in and sorting out the controversy surrounding the new restrictions on flagpoles.

The Historic Preservation Commission strengthened its regulations regarding flagpoles as a response to a growing number of requests to construct new flagpoles in the Historic District.

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The wave of patriotism following the Sept. 11 attacks spurred the new interest in flagpoles.

While we still contend the Preservation Commission’s rules are too strict, we find it ironic the aldermen want to jump in on the issue.

Of all the city created boards, the Preservation Commission is the only one whose decisions are appealed through the court system and not the aldermen.

Apparently, the decision was made years ago when the board was first created.

At the time, it seems the aldermen did not want to handle any hot potato preservation issues.

Now, since the flag issue stirs patriotism and is a politically easy bandwagon on which to jump, the aldermen have spotted their target.

Ultimately, if the flag restrictions are lessened, the public will be better served.

However, it is quite interesting that the alderman pick and choose the issues in which they become involved.