Preservation commission down 1 member

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2009

NATCHEZ — The image of a full nine-member Natchez Preservation Commission was short-lived Wednesday when Aradia Sims announced her resignation after Valencia Hall and Bethany Overton were welcomed to their new posts.

Sims, whose resignation is effective immediately, said her schedule will not allow her to attend the commission’s monthly meetings. Chairman Marty Seibert commended Sims for her service after welcoming Hall and Overton to the commission.

Hall and Overton only observed Wednesday’s meeting and will assume voting power at the next meeting in January.

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Seibert reviewed attendance rules with Hall and Overton, saying members are asked to resign if they miss three consecutive meetings.

“It’s all about attendance. We have to have a quorum,” Seibert said. “We have to have five people here to approve applications.”

Seibert said she will notify Mayor Jake Middleton and the Natchez Board of Aldermen of the commission’s new vacancy. The aldermen are responsible for appointing commission members.

The commission had been operating with only seven members after Fred Middleton’s resignation in February and Sara Garcia’s out-of-town move. The aldermen appointed Hall and Overton to the commission just last week.

In other business:

4The commission unanimously approved an application submitted by Gene Laird to remodel an old gas station at 600 S. Canal St., into an office space.

4The commission unanimously approved an application submitted by Herman Price to demolish a house at 810 N. Martin Luther King Jr. St., to make way for the expansion of Herman’s Upholstery at 808 N. Martin Luther King Jr. St.

City Building Inspector Paul Dawes updated the commission on clean up at Arlington, saying the public works department is still at work clearing the property.

Owner Dr. Thomas Vaughan has until Monday to board up the house. Vaughan has until Jan.8 to remove 10 inoperable, vandalized vehicles from his property. If Vaughan fails to do both tasks, the city will attach a lien to the property.

“The meter is ticking,” Dawes said. “The more (Vaughan) delays and puts it off, the more it costs him.”