City leaders made right call on CVB

Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2016

If leaders are like football coaches, the Natchez Board of Aldermen Tuesday appeared to call the best play possible in the ongoing grudge match at the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Unfortunately — and from what we can tell mostly caused by miscommunication and poorly outlined roles — things had spiraled down quickly between the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau’s leader, Director Kevin Kirby, and the Natchez Convention Promotion Commission, a board with the oversight of the CVB’s purse strings.

Questions over CVB spending prompted the commission to launch a public investigation of the matter, which in turn prompted the city’s mayor and board of aldermen to investigate.

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All of the investigations and “lawyering up” on both sides simply meant aldermen were fourth-and-long backed up to their own end zone. The only real course of action was either a Hail Mary throw or punting. They chose to punt — kicking Kirby and the entire commission to the curb.

It was a rapid and perhaps a bit Draconian move, but one that may eventually get things settled more quickly.

The emotions and ill will surrounding this situation has caused lines to be drawn in the sand, and that’s the absolute last thing Natchez needs now.

We need togetherness and something about which to rally around, not divide us.

Ultimately, we hope aldermen can fix the broken lines of communication and properly clarify roles and responsibilities as the new convention promotion commission is appointed and a new CVB leader is found.

We’re disappointed by the ugly sportsmanship that has occurred, but feel it’s time for the distraction to end and the CVB’s business to get moving again.