Safety of residents is top priority

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

At some point, nearly everything in life comes down to a series of prioritizing what’s most important.

From a human perspective, psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs. His model divided human needs from the most basic (food, water, shelter) to the more complex (self-esteem, creative fulfillment, etc.).

The idea being that those needs build upon one another. A person who is hungry, thirsty and cold cannot focus much on building his self-esteem or pursuing his inner talents. More important, more pressing, matters are at hand.

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That same level of prioritizing needs should be occurring in all levels of government, but all too often it doesn’t.

Our leaders get fixated on the next big project, the next grant or the next thing we can hang their names upon. As a result, sometimes priorities get messed up.

Last week, when the rains came flooding down, a clear example of mixed up priorities came bubbling up to the surface and then across Highland Boulevard.

The problem, the City of Natchez says, is that too much storm water is entering into the sanitary sewer lines, effectively overwhelming the pipes. The result is a stinky mess that floods out of a manhole cover and onto the roadway.

To its credit, the City says a solution is in the works, but in the same breath, city leaders say dozens of other drainage problems exist across the City.

Providing a safe environment is among the most critical needs residents need city government to fill. Perhaps it’s time to rethink our priorities, cut out any and all unnecessary spending until all of the basics are covered?