City should include public more

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011

News that City of Natchez leaders recently lobbied Mississippi’s U.S congressional delegation to shutter the city’s downtown post office came as a bit of a surprise to many residents last week.

The city’s proposal included the suggestion of closing both the downtown and the Tracetown post offices locations in exchange for building a new, combined post office building in a more central location, yet to be determined.

The plan city leaders unveiled in Washington was touted as being proactive and innovative.

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On one hand, they’re correct.

First, the city’s two post offices are far from perfect. The downtown location does not provide easy access and parking is somewhat limited and the Tracetown location is in a shopping center that needs a makeover.

Second, it’s widely known that the United States Postal Service is looking for ways to cut its cost and become more profitable. It has suggested that cutting 2,000 post office locations in the country would be a good start, but as far as we know no list has been made public showing which stand to be cut.

One or both of Natchez’s locations could be on the list to be cut, but we don’t know that.

What we do know, however, is that city leaders continue to struggle with the concept of communicating plans loudly and clearly with its citizens.

Most citizens are fine with having city and county leaders lobby on behalf of projects and developments, so long as they don’t affect the taxpayers’ lives in any way.

Coming from left field with a plan to relocate a post office without communicating the plan well in advance to the people who use the facility, well, it’s about as welcome as junk mail and bills.