City should take heed of Speed&8217;s words

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2006

He was a little late to the meeting, but Mississippi Development Authority Director Leland Speed brought an important message to both sides of a condo issue Monday.

Speaking at a design convocation for the project, Speed quickly and accurately assessed the situation: The condos are so important, he said, that he would be willing to buy one. But, he added, &8220;It is very vital that it be done right, that it not impair the beautiful situation that you have right here in Natchez.&8221;

If the man in charge of economic development for the state of Mississippi gives you advice, it&8217;s probably going to be good &8212; and Natchez officials, developers and all of those involved in this project and its current design phase should pay attention.

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This project can be successful with a healthy dose of compromise. That&8217;s how most of the parties have approached this week&8217;s design meeting, and we hope all will listen to reason when it comes to changes in the project.

Natchez needs a project like this on the bluff, one that will capitalize on the second-home-buying trend, but we also cannot allow such a project to harm the historic character that has been our community&8217;s bread and butter.

Speed boiled the issue down to its essence; now we just need to listen to his advice.