City would suffer with no planner

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of the Natchez city planner.

For many residents planning may seem like something that’s not all that critical, particularly in a city that has been created and planned over nearly three centuries.

In their minds, planning is needed to handle booming growth, not so much for a mature city like Natchez.

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For many, it’s just another layer of city bureaucracy. And it has been that when the person in the office was, well, just a bureaucrat.

Natchez has through its history had a few stinkers who were hired to drive the city planning office. Some have been lazy, others incompetent and others just inconsistent.

But the city has also had a few superstars, too. We consider outgoing city planner Frankie Legaux among the superstar variety.

She recently announced plans to leave Natchez for a much better paying job in Texas. The news made us happy for her, but sad for Natchez.

From what we can tell Legaux has made Natchez a better place through her short, but productive time here.

She has worked hard to delicately but deliberately work developers, contractors, residents and even elected officials through the projects that invariably cause emotional heartache for many.

Legaux worked to make things the best for all parties — and for Natchez.

We hope city leaders work to find another leader like Legaux to help drive such an important segment of city government.

Invariably, the city will likely consider not replacing her position, or restructuring the department in an effort to save money. If that’s done, we urge caution.

Natchez has suffered many times in the past when we had no leadership in planning; we don’t need to revisit those times again to save a few dollars.