Supervisor’s involvement makes sense

Published 12:05 am Friday, December 19, 2014

The Wednesday meeting between the Adams County Board of Supervisors and the Natchez-Adams County Port Commission members was long overdue.

The two groups met Wednesday to open and better define avenues of communication.

Members of the Board of Supervisors, understandably, are gun-shy after the debacle that became of Natchez Regional Medical Center.

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County supervisors were left to pick up the mess left behind by those who operated the once county-owned hospital. The hospital’s board allowed it to be mismanaged into bankruptcy. Ultimately, the county was forced to sell the hospital.

Board President Darryl Grennell said supervisors don’t seek to micromanage the port commission, but based on the recent hospital experience, feels a renewed obligation to make certain policies regarding operations and hiring are being followed.

During the meeting, Grennell questioned port commission members about the hiring of Robert McNeely as assistant to the port director without apparently advertising the position publicly. Grennell also asked if the planned hiring of a bookkeeper for the port authority would be advertised publicly.

Port Commission President Wilbur Johnson told Grennell the commission followed all guidelines it had been given for hiring. We’re not certain that’s the case but are attempting to get a definitive answer soon. Regardless, advertising positions funded by taxpayer dollars is the right thing to do to avoid any hint of impropriety.

Supervisors have every right to question port commission members, whom they appoint, and whose decisions they are ultimately responsible.

The meeting was a good move, and one we would encourage supervisors to have with all agencies and boards under its jurisdiction.

While supervisors can’t run all of the county boards and agencies, if problems from those are going to fall into supervisors’ laps, it’s only right they have an understanding of the operation of each.