City to hire director for new community development department

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez is set to hire a former grantsman for the city as the new community development director.

Mayor Butch Brown said at a specially called meeting Monday that James Johnston will be the new community development director under the city’s renamed Department of Planning and Community Development.

Brown said he hired Johnston in 1999, who was then working for the Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District, as a grant writer for the city.

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“He was much more than (a grant writer), though,” Brown said. “He is very knowledgeable.”

Johnston, who lives in Natchez, will be leaving his job as the Claiborne County administrator to work for the city.

Brown said Johnston will start sometime at the beginning of September. Brown said the board of aldermen will set Johnson’s salary during its upcoming budgeting process.

Brown also mentioned the city has had nine applicants for the position of city planner and has scheduled interviews with three applicants.

In other news from the meeting:

-The board decided to postpone its decision for an appointment to the Natchez-Adams County School District.

Alderwomen Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis and Sarah Smith said they thought the board was going to interview the nominees Monday, but Brown said he did not know that was the case.

Brown said he would contact the nominees to see if they could be interviewed before the end of the week.

Nominated for the position are Thelma Newsome, Kim Stephens and Tammy Williams.