Communication is positive step for city leaders

Published 12:03 am Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trust falls and a ropes course might have made it more entertaining, but nonetheless, the retreat attended by the men and women who will be leading the City of Natchez for the next four years was a good idea.

Open communication is the key to teamwork, and it’s good to see the new team working hard to jell.

We hope the mayor and board will continue to talk frequently — within the bounds of the open meetings law — and work out differences before stepping onto the stage of their regular Tuesday meetings.

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That time should be reserved for finalizing decisions and conducting appropriate city business.

It’s perfectly legal for the mayor to have private, detailed conversations with aldermen about city business as often as possible. It’s just as legal for two to three aldermen to talk among themselves.

And the full board is welcome to meet together to hash out issues, as long as the public is notified in advance.

It’s illegal, though, for four or more members of the board to meet — even in an informal setting or over lunch — for discussion of anything related to the city without having members of the public present.

The mayor and the board have started things off on the right foot. Let’s keep it that way.