City’s beauty could use full time position

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Most of us wouldn’t think about trying to fix a toothache ourselves. Many of us wouldn’t dare attempt to rewire our house or rebuild our car’s engine.

In those situations, we seek out the help and expertise of professionals.

To not do so, many of us know from experience, can cause big problems.

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But is a city’s “beauty” of a similar nature?

The group of people who have volunteered countless hours of time and buckets of sweat think so.

Last week a group of citizens asked the Natchez Board of Aldermen to consider funding something that many people will think is, well, a little squishy.

The group asked city leaders to create a position of city horticulturist. The position wouldn’t simply be a glorified grass cutter, but instead someone, whose mission is to work hard beautifying the city, providing a cohesive look to the city’s entrances, exits and heavily traveled corridors.

The immediate reaction of many may be to scoff at the idea, discounting it as a frivolous use of taxpayer money. But to do so may miss something very important — looks do matter — both to locals and to visitors.

Our city has the “bones” of a beauty queen, but sometimes looks a bit unkempt. For years, the city has leaned on the help of a few volunteers. Perhaps it’s time to invest in a professional.

Who knows how pretty Natchez really could be with just a bit of work.

Funding is easy and could be two-fold. First, aldermen could simply instate a 15-percent pay cut for the part-time positions they hold in the city. Doing so should create a considerable amount of savings that could help fund the position. Second, the city should seek some help from Adams County as well. The issue isn’t a city or a county one, but a community one and all sides need to help.