City needs leaders to work as one

Published 12:06 am Sunday, October 12, 2014

If the City of Natchez were a marriage, some counseling would be in order — fast.

Just as any marriage expert will attest, money problems are often the root of any marital woes.

The City of Natchez has similar problems.

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Mayor Butch Brown took it upon himself to offer up pay raises to a select handful of city employees, but aldermen say they didn’t know anything about the raises.

Brown suggested last week that he’d informed the aldermen of his plans long ago, but aldermen say they were not informed.

The raises in question are small in the grand scheme of the whopping $37.7 million budget. But the problem is the principle of the matter, not the $29,000 on the line.

Fortunately, for aldermen they had the wherewithal to question line items on the budget that didn’t make sense.

Their questions highlight many problems in the city’s budget system this year. The city didn’t appear to have started early enough. The aldermen were not involved in the process from the beginning. The city clerk’s office did not provide accurate, logical budget numbers throughout the process.

With all of the above mistakes, it’s no wonder the city’s budget is late and questions about city spending continue to swirl in the community.

Natchez residents need city leaders who work well together — in financial sickness and budgeting health. It’s time for the bickering and fighting to end and leading to begin.