Natchez mayor, aldermen hire new city planner

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Board of Aldermen unanimously voted at its Tuesday meeting to hire a city planner.

Frankie Legaux of North Carolina will be the city’s new planner, and Mayor Butch Brown said she will start in a few weeks or as soon as she can move to Natchez.

Brown recommended Legaux’s hire after discussing it with the aldermen in executive session during their finance meeting.

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The city received 33 applications for city planner, Brown said, and short-listed nine applicants.

The city planner’s position was left open after former city planner Bob Nix retired June 30.

The city planner will serve in the Planning and Community Development Department. James Johnston was recently hired as the community development director.

Johnston and Legaux will serve as heads of the department.

In other news from the meeting:

-The board approved a change order proposal from Amelia Salmon, the architect the city hired for the municipal building roof project, to repair a leak at the Natchez Senior Citizen Multi-Purpose Center.

The leaking portion of the roof was not included in the scope of work that replaced the roof at the senior citizen center, Salmon said.

The city has $8,000 remaining in grant funds for the project. The leak repair will cost $9,576.

-The board accepted the resignation of Civil Service Commissioner Stratton Bull, who was just recently appointed.

City Attorney Hyde Carby said upon being appointed, Bull discovered that state statute requires commissioners to have lived the last five consecutive years in the city, which Bull has not. Bull resigned so no commission decisions would be challenged by the residency requirements, Carby said.

Brown said he asked Bull to recommend a replacement to the board, as the city wishes to have a good attorney on the commission.

-Mitzi Callon, chairperson of Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi’s Natchez chapter, appeared before the aldermen to encourage participation and support for the group’s gardening challenge.

The group will kick off its “City Challenge for Our Children” campaign Saturday with indoor and outdoor workshops at Duncan Park, with Gaining Ground members demonstrating step-by-step how to build raised garden beds and how to plant a garden. Gaining Ground, Callon said, is looking to partner with the schools, churches and other groups for the challenge.

The workshops will be from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday at Duncan Park. Callon asked that anyone interested in signing up call her at 601-446-8160 or e-mail