Strong mayor should unify aldermen

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2016

As Natchez municipal elections draw near, today we continue a series of articles aimed and giving voters a better understanding of the three men vying to be the city’s mayor.

Natchez has a form of government described as a strong board, weak mayor system. Under such a system the mayor is the chief executive or city manager over the various city departments, but nearly all budgetary authority rests with the board. The mayor only has a vote on board matters when an issue results in a tie.

Over the past several years, Natchez has had a number of different kinds of personalities in the mayor’s office from overtly strong, even bully types, to much more conciliatory in nature.

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A smart, strong mayor who works to find consensus on the board can often be quite successful, while a weaker personality can let board meetings quickly out of hand.

The best balance is somewhere between those extremes.

As voters consider which candidates to support in next month’s mayoral primary race, we hope voters will consider not only the candidates most familiar to them, but the people most qualified — personality wise — to build consensus, regain respect and lead Natchez into the future.