Let’s make a few resolutions, together

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Resolutions, for those who actually make them, tend to be a very personal thing.

Lose weight, save money, walk more, etc., but almost all of us know that personal goals set and attempted without outside help rarely happen.

Nearly every resolution is more likely to be kept if a support system of friends, family and co-workers is pushing it along.

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With that group mentality in mind, here are a few resolutions that would be great for the entire Miss-Lou to adopt — together.

• Unify all efforts that relate to tourism.

The Miss-Lou has many, many groups that work to promote tourism in our area. The problem is sometimes these groups work independently of one another; some simply don’t even get along. It’s high time that the City of Natchez take the lead on tourism efforts, pulling together all the various for-profit and volunteer groups who do good work under one umbrella. Existing groups would likely make for wonderful committees under a tourism head who ultimately answers to the mayor or the regionalism steering committee.

The structure is already in place, but the work isn’t getting done. City leadership must fix it, and residents must demand that fix.

• Make the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race a Miss-Lou event.

Stop the bickering between Natchez and Vidalia and create a comprehensive plan for which side of the river will offer what.

Those who come to the race — and those who depend on the tax dollars it generates — don’t care what strong personalities may not be able to get along. They just want a well-thought-out, fun weekend.

Let’s get it done.

• Create a community-wide roadwork priority list.

Some area governments have a decent start on this; others do not.

Adams County, Natchez, Vidalia, Concordia Parish and Ferriday leaders should all have a binder on the shelf or a computer file on the desktop that can be pulled yearly to determine what roads will be repaved and when.

Residents should submit suggestions, attend meetings on the topic and demand to see the list.

• When adding a new pet to the family, don’t buy from a store or a breeder.

Head to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society’s shelter.

If everyone planning to add a pet in the next year did this, what could it do to the future of the shelter’s population and the stray animal problem in our area?

• Clean up.

Clean up the litter. Clean up the abandoned properties. Clean up your yard, your business, the old garage sale signs you stuck on light posts two weeks ago, the campaign signs from last year’s elections.

A mentality of cleanliness would simply do wonders.

• Encourage elected officials to think first of the taxpayer, not the government employee.

Taxpayers outnumber government workers, and serving and saving the masses should always come before protecting government jobs.

• Explore your health care options here at home before simply deciding you’ll go elsewhere. Visit a doctor; tour the hospital. Try it.

• Demand better customer service.

Let’s face it; customer service in almost every type of area business is often subpar. Continued community-wide training programs for workers are a great first step. Higher standards from business owners and managers are necessary.

• Either say something positive about the local public schools or say nothing at all.

If you haven’t stepped foot in a public school in five years, admit that you have no room to comment and simply leave it at that. Don’t bash them; that does no good.

• Invite a friend to town for pilgrimage or just to tour.

Tourism is still our biggest industry, and every local resident must be an active participant.

Let’s resolve — together — to make progress in 2013.


Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or julie.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.