EDA talks moving in right direction

Published 12:05 am Thursday, September 3, 2009

Natchez and Adams County have grappled for months with how, exactly, the community’s economic development efforts need to be shaped and funded.

That work will continue in the next several months, as all indications are that a structural change is in order to get every community stakeholder feeling involved with the EDA’s future.

Earlier this week, Adams County supervisors voted to fund the EDA in its existing structure again for the next fiscal year. The City of Natchez had done the same last Friday.

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With the funding secured for the next year, now the community will begin focusing in earnest on how to find a structure that works for all involved.

Finding such a common ground option is vital to our future. Our community’s track record with all things EDA is not terribly good.

From an outsider’s perspective, it appears that our community has a history of hiring executive directors and then either firing them a short time later or fussing when they don’t seem to do things exactly as elected officials would like them to do.

We must end that cycle and all of the public feuding and fussing over funding — an argument seems to come up almost each year.

Until the entire community can work together, communicate well and commit long-term to supporting whatever economic development authority structure exists, our area will continue to struggle with job recruitment and retention.

After months of squabbling and fussing, some glimmers of hope have surfaced, the most important of which being that for once the city and county’s elected officials are talking with one another — mostly in respectful tones — about the future of the community.

And that’s a great, big first step in the right direction.