City and state have opportunities in 2003

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 28, 2002

With another year just around the corner, we have an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past.

What we learn as we look back on the year is that we have many opportunities ahead of us with unresolved issues.

Arguably the biggest story of the year for Mississippi &045; and, by extension, Concordia Parish &045; was tort reform.

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Following a marathon, nearly $2 million special session, legislators finally passed tort reform legislation, beginning with what many in the Miss-Lou saw as the most pressing need: medical malpractice reform.

But even as the law takes effect later this week, its impact is still unclear. Some medical professionals think it will take up to two years for doctors to see the benefit of reform in terms of lower insurance premiums.

Meanwhile, some doctors are still preparing to move across the river to Concordia Parish to practice.

The possibility of legal challenges to the tort reform legislation looms, but we hope the new laws will stand the test of time and effect lasting change for our area.

In the City of Natchez, aldermen still have one more important hire to make after several department heads left their positions last year. A new city planner is on the way and a new fire chief is in place, but aldermen still have to make a decision about a police chief.

Meanwhile, the city seems to be on the brink of several exciting projects. Although it’s possible the city could lose a grant for the Forks of the Road site, more people than ever seem committed to making recognition of the important historic site a reality. The Historic Natchez Foundation is now in possession of the old downtown Ritz Theater, and the city has plans to market its new strip of riverfront property.

Here’s to good news in 2003.