Two candidates hope to replace Middleton in Ward 6

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 26, 2008

NATCHEZ — With long-time Ward 6 aldermen Jake Middleton running for mayor of Natchez, his seat on the board is open and being pursued by only two candidates.

Dan Dillard

Dan Dillard said if elected he would focus on issues dealing with infrastructure, recreation and economic development.

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“You can judge a community on how it (plays),” he said.

Dillard said the mark of a highly functioning community can be seen in how much value is placed on their recreation.

For Dillard recreation means more than just playing in the park.

Dillard said a higher functioning recreational system would give the youth of the community more activities to participate in and less opportunity to find mischief.

And Dillard’s ideas for recreational improvements in the area are a bit different from others so far.

Dillard expressed an interest in possibly having some type of landscape architecture program, from a local university, partner with Duncan Park to improve the golf course.

And at Liberty Ball Park, Dillard suggested pursuing preservation grants, given the park’s age, to improve the facilities.

Dillard said he views recreation as a means improve the rest of the community.

Dillard said if Natchez had facilities that could better attract sports teams statewide, incoming spectators and participants would be more apt to spend their money in Natchez.

“They shop, eat and stay in our hotels,” he said.

And with all the new traffic coming into the city, Dillard said it is critical to make sure the cities arteries.

Dillard said if elected he would focus on repair roads in Ward 6 but would also carefully study the maintenance program used by the city make sure the roads last as long as possible.

“We can’t just overlay all the time,” he said.

Forrest Foster

Forrest Foster said if elected he would try to consolidate the board of aldermen and the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

Foster said the consolidation of both entities to a single five-person board would save money in salaries for the county and the city.

Foster also said the new board would be a full-time position.

Foster said he did realize the transition would not be a fast one but called it, “something to move toward.”

Foster, like Dillard, said he would also focus on improving recreation in the area.

In Foster’s plan, one large recreation center to host large athletic events would be preferable. Foster said a large recreation complex could help to attract recreation to the area.

Once in town, Foster said those who would have originally come for the sporting events would be attracted to the city and likely come back for secondary visits.

Also on Foster’s agenda — public schools.

Foster said he would work to restore pride in the local public schools.

Citing the ability to attract business interests in the community Foster said it is critical to have a well functioning school system.

“That’s what a business looks at when they come to a new area,” he said. “We need to come together as a community to give them what they need to educated responsible citizens.”

David Nations

On Friday, Nations said he has decided not to run for the aldermen position.

He cited only personal reasons.