County may have chance to streamline

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 27, 2007

In the business world, times of change offer opportunities to grow or streamline.

Adams County is facing a significant change soon with the pending retirement of longtime Civil Defense Director George Souderes.

When he leaves office this spring, the county will lose his 30 years of experience and know-how in countless areas.

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As anyone familiar with his office knows, Souderes wears many hats — civil defense director, volunteer fire department coordinator and director of Emergency 911 services, just to name a few.

But as county supervisors consider the qualifications of applicants for Souderes’ job, the county would be wise to study the office and see if opportunities to streamline processes exist.

For example, could the volunteer fire services coordinator role be merged with the responsibilities of the Natchez fire chief?

For years the City of Natchez and Adams County have contracted together to improve fire service in the county by using city resources. It would seem a logical step to getting the volunteer and city fire folks on the same page.

What about E911 being merged with the sheriff’s office or even the city? The 911 operators are already housed in the city police department building.

We’ve long been proponents of merging together the county sheriff’s dispatchers with the 911 dispatchers. Again, it’s the logical thing to do.

Before the county just fills a vacant line item on the budget, we urge them to think of ways to reduce government and where possible improve the services provided at the same time.

Opportunities to do so are all around, we’ve just to look for them first.