Regionalism steering committee seeks public input

Published 12:04 am Friday, March 12, 2010

NATCHEZ — The message remained the same at the final of three public forums addressing the concept of regionalism — Let’s work together to move the Miss-Lou forward.

The Miss-Lou Steering Committee took written questions from the public Thursday at the Natchez Community Center, and committee members again reiterated the strong ties that bond Adams County and Concordia Parish.

“The Mississippi River separates us, and that’s the only thing,” Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said. “I was born in Ferriday, worked in Natchez and I’m mayor in Vidalia. It’s a hard combination to beat.

“We’re not in competition. We’ve never been in competition. We want to work hand in hand.”

Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin and First Natchez Radio Group President Margaret Perkins said it will take both the private and public sectors to define the needs of the region and draw solutions.

“It’s going to take all of us to mold and shape what this is going to look like,” Perkins said.

Guests were asked to fill out a form to volunteer on one of the several sub-committees, which include economic development, community development, health care, education-workforce, housing and communications-public relations.

The economic development committee will be further divided into groups addressing tourism, finance, site selection and infrastructure. The community development committee will be further divided into groups addressing leadership development and race relations.

Forum moderator Heather Malone, who is director of the Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District, said sub-committee volunteers will be contacted and meeting dates will eventually be advertised. Malone said the committees will meet monthly.

The public is invited to attend the committee meetings once they are scheduled, and McGlothin urged area youth to participate.

“We need to get young people involved,” McGlothin said as he stared out at the mostly salt-and-peppered- haired audience.