City planner hits ground running on first day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; In many ways, it was like any other first day on the job &045; finding a parking space, getting situated in your office, meeting your coworkers.

Except in Robert Jackson’s case, the first day included meeting with his fellow city directors and, briefly, meeting with the mayor.

Jackson started work as Natchez’s city planner Wednesday.

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With only four-and-a-half hours of work before his first interview, Jackson didn’t have much time to think about what his first priorities on the job will be.

&uot;Obviously, we have some ongoing projects, such as historic preservation projects, but the mayor (F.L. ‘Hank’ Smith) wants to meet with me later this week to discuss those.&uot;

However, city officials have said a revision of the city’s sign ordinance will be one planning priority in the foreseeable future.

Besides a brief visit with Smith earlier Wednesday, Jackson met the directors of other city departments.

He also met his staff, Code Enforcement Officer Artimese Evans and Administrative Assistant Darlene Williams.

&uot;It’s been a very welcoming office to walk into,&uot; Jackson said.

Robert Jackson has moved to Natchez from Parker, Ariz., where he served as tribal planner and grant writer for the Colorado River Indian Tribes for eight years.

The reservation, located near the California state line, is home to about 8,500 people.

Jackson previously worked in planning for the cities of Bisby, Ariz., and El Paso, Texas.

Among other things, the city planner oversees planning, zoning and code enforcement and makes recommendations on cases before the city’s Zoning Board and Planning and Historic Preservation commissions.

The position has been vacant since July 15, when former City Planner David Preziosi left to become executive director of the Mississippi Heritage Trust.