Easterling: Supervisors will focus on jobs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 8, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Lynwood Easterling is determined to keep the Adams County Board of Supervisors focused on one issue during his term as president: jobs.

With employment opportunities eroding out from under the county just like its loess soil, Easterling, who was elected Monday to succeed outgoing county supervisors President Darryl Grennell, said the most important duty for local government is to shore up the area’s economy.

To do that, he said, the supervisors have to continue &045; and further &045; their policy of open communication with local industry and the community as a whole.

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Easterling said he was particularly disturbed by the unexpected closing of the Georgia-Pacific mill in Gloster late last year.

That closure, he said, might have been forestalled if Amite County officials had been in closer contact with Georgia-Pacific.

&uot;The biggest thing we’ve got in this area is the timber industry,&uot; Easterling said. &uot;What can we do as county supervisors to help these industries we have?&uot;

Expanding use of the county’s transportation infrastructure is also key to economic stability and growth.

The Natchez-Adams Port, Easterling said, is a good example of a resource that can bring more business to the area.

&uot;There’s so many things we can work with that port,&uot; he said. &uot;That’s the only port on the Mississippi River that you can directly dock a barge in.&uot;

Easterling said he sees some encouraging developments on the horizon for the county, not the least of which is the planned conversion of Memorial Hall, which the City of Natchez took control of earlier this week, into a federal courthouse.

&uot;That is really a small industry in itself,&uot; Easterling said.

And while 2002 &045; with the closure of the Johns Manville plant and a sluggish tourist trade &045; was in some ways less than wonderful for the county, Easterling said he is positive about 2003.

&uot;We have got a busy year ahead of us,&uot; he said. &uot;And I couldn’t have a better board to work with.&uot;