Voters know what they want candidates to address in election

Published 12:05 am Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mayoral candidates, clockwise from top left, Phillip West, Robert “Bob” Buie, Bill Furlow, Larry L. “Butch” Brown and Jake Middleton will address issues from voters, including recreation, tourism, open government, officer salaries and abandoned houses.


NATCHEZ — Candidates hoping to fill the mayor’s chair at City Hall may have platforms and goals, but the five men seeking office aren’t the most important folks in town.

It’s the voters who wield the power — and the questions, concerns and ideas.

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The issues circling the May 1 primary election vary from voter to voter, but more than a few issues are being sung in unison.

No Election Day has come and gone in Natchez since the closing of International Paper without a cry for job creation.

But voter Gail Frisby said recruiting jobs today is putting the cart before the horse.

“When crime goes down, that’s when we will be able to get people to move here,” she said. “We need jobs and businesses here, but whose going to build here when they’re worried about security or their business being burglarized?”

For that reason, Frisby wants to hear what candidates plan to do to reduce crime. And, in her opinion, the answer better start with higher salaries for police and firemen.

Frisby, a retiree from the Natchez Police Department, said higher pay for police officers would mean lower turnover at the police department and more experienced officers.

“You get what you pay for,” she said. “If we had more experienced officers and more officers in general, it would help with all the crime that is going on in the city.”