Waycaster withdraws from aldermen race

Published 12:27 am Tuesday, March 18, 2008

After much prayer and much deliberation I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration in the race for alderman of Ward 3.

As many people know, Dan Dillard, who is a candidate for alderman in Ward 6, has worked for my architectural firm for 16 years. While I remain convinced that, if elected, both Dan and I could serve effectively on the same board of aldermen, questions in that regard have already arisen. Moreover, I feel strongly that the outcome of this election process is far too important to be influenced in part by that circumstance.

A principal reason for my willingness to qualify as a candidate was to offer the citizens of Natchez a voice in local government that stands without waver for the open, accessible public forum that our political process was created to be. Gwen Ball, also a candidate for Alderman in Ward 3, stands on that same platform.

Email newsletter signup

Over the next several weeks candidates will be knocking on doors all across this community. If they do not make an effort to seek you out, then you should question their sincerity in representing you. When they do ask for your vote, I encourage each of you to ask not just what they hope to accomplish but also how they plan to conduct the business of Natchez. Are they willing to stand firmly behind the intent of the open-meeting laws of the State of Mississippi? Are they willing to adhere to the same laws and ordinances that we all are expected to live by? Are they willing to commit to responsible stewardship of public tax dollars? Do they understand and appreciate the importance of budget planning and accountability? Do they understand how adversely Natchez is affected when departments of its city government are poorly run and mismanaged?

Far too often elected officials are influenced more by free meals and tabs at the local bar than they are by the individuals that placed them in office with the privilege of their votes. I ask the voters of Natchez to consider the characters of the individuals running for office before you cast your votes.

I pray for the leadership of our city and ask that, if so inclined, you add these leaders to your prayer lists also.

Johnny Waycaster

Natchez citizen