Carter, Watts face off on November ballot

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NATCHEZ — Candidates for District 2 supervisor will not face off until November when the weather cools down and campaigning for the general election heats up.

David Carter

Incumbent Henry Watts, a Democrat, will appear on the ballot unopposed during primary election, and challenger David Carter, an independent, will not be on the ballot until Nov. 4.

Carter said he decided to run for office because he wants his young children to have an opportunity to live in Adams County when they are his age, and he is concerned that in 15 to 20 years opportunities might be sparse if the county stays on its current track.

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Carter said working toward long-term goals might help the Adams County Board of Supervisors become more productive.

“We need to make a strategic plan and show where we want to go in the next 10 to 15 years,” he said.

Carter, a member of the Natchez-Adams Recreation Commission, said he supports building a recreation complex. And while he thinks the county could find another way to fund recreation, he would vote to raise taxes if raising taxes ended up being the only way to build a complex.

“I hate seeing my taxes coming every year,” Carter said. “But to get something we’ve never had, we’ve got to do something we’ve never done.”

Beyond the recreation complex, Carter said he thinks the county should also focus on developing a more comprehensive recreation program, which incorporates all ages and realizes the potential of the waterways and expansive outdoor opportunities.

Carter moved to Natchez four years ago, and he said his outside perspective helps him see the county’s potential.

“I’m not from Natchez so I don’t see problems (as problems), I see the possibilities,” he said.

With education, for example, he said Adams County is fortunate to have education from kindergarten to the university level.

The public school system is struggling and needs improvement, he said, but a struggling school system is not a problem independent to the area.

“(Education) is a national and state crisis,” Carter said.

He said the board should research what works for other successful school districts and appoint school board members with creative solutions.

Henry Watts

“We need people (on the school board) that realize we need change and are innovative and think outside the box, because that’s what our school system needs,” Carter said.

Carter said the supervisors should continue to support Natchez Inc. and its qualified staff and director to create jobs in Adams County.

“(As a supervisor), I would definitely not be in competition with Natchez Inc.,” Carter said.

If the supervisors independently try to lure prospective industries to town without involving Natchez Inc., a miscommunication could sabotage the prospect, he said.

“And when communication won’t work, everything else follows,” Carter said. “(Communication) is the first breakdown.”

Carter said he has shown through leadership roles in his job as county agent and other organizations, such as the Master Gardeners, that he is a productive leader who communicates well. He said he has a history of accomplishing tasks the right way, rather than doing the

minimum amount of work to get it done.

“A lot of times (the current board) does what they can to get by instead of fully addressing issues,” Carter said.

Watts declined to answer questions regarding the race. He said it was premature to provide answers since he will not face his opponent at the polls until November.