New year one of change, but we can control it

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

The past year has most certainly been one of change, from economic uncertainty to new elected county officials.

Some of the biggest changes, however, seemed out of our control. The closing of the International Paper mill dominated the news in the past year, from the announcement in January through the actual closing of the mill in July to the uncertainty with which former employees and the rest of the community arrived at the holidays.

The coming year could be one of change as well as we prepare for more elections in municipalities on both sides of the river.

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But we can take control of the changes, and not just by casting votes in those elections.

We can resolve that 2004 will be a better year for Natchez and the Miss-Lou by our very attitude. The sense we gained this year of the need to work together in economic development &045;&045; illustrated by business, government and labor sitting together to work out details of a possible employee buyout of the paper mill &045;&045; was one of the best examples of our willingness to move forward, to forget the divisions of the past.

We have such an opportunity as we approach this new year by taking control of our community’s destiny. There are no guarantees in economic development, but we can probably bet that we will gain more attention for potential industrial expansion if we work together &045;&045; and if we project the image that we want to work together.