Incoming leaders preparing for terms

Published 2:04 am Tuesday, June 21, 2016

NATCHEZ — The incoming administration of the City of Natchez will have two opportunities to prepare for the beginning of their terms.

Natchez Mayor-elect Darryl Grennell plans to host a retreat for incoming and returning city aldermen Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Edelweiss.

“The purpose of the retreat is not to discuss any future business of the city,” Grennell said. “It’s more or less to create working-together relationship. It’s about developing a good bond.”

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Grennell said he hosted a similar retreat when he became president of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, and was pleased with the results.

Vidalia Mayor-elect Buz Craft and Craft’s pick for Vidalia City Manager Bill Murray as well as Adams County Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus and County Administrator Joe Murray are also invited for a portion of the retreat.

Ward 4 Alderwoman-elect Felicia Irving said she is looking forward to attending the retreat.

“I think we’re starting off on a good foot,” she said. “Everybody is eager to learn and to gain.”

The Mississippi Municipal League’s annual conference will provide an opportunity for new and returning city officials to learn about city government.

The conference will be held June 27-29.

MML Executive Director Shari Veazey said education is the primary purpose of the annual conference at the Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

The conference offers classes in a variety of topics related to city government, including municipal law, city finance, city planning and economic development.

“Municipal government is a very diverse animal, so there are a lot of things we try to address every year in our conference,” Veazey said.

Irving said a workshop about city recycling programs caught her eye.

“I teach environment science, so I understand why it’s so important to recycle,” Irving said. “If we can get this info out to the general public about recycling, they will understand that it is truly an investment and will create jobs.”

Though Grennell has served as president of the Adams County Board of Supervisors in the past, Grennell said he has plenty to learn as he begins his term as mayor.

“I told them I want to be included so I can learn as much as I can as it relates to municipal government,” he said.

Ward 5 Alderman-elect Benjamin Davis said he expects to learn a lot at the conference.

“Nobody ever knows their job when they start it,” Davis said. “I know I’m going to have to learn the job, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The conference and retreat are not only open to newly elected officials. Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis will attend both events.

Arceneaux-Mathis will be recognized at the MML conference for her 20 years of service as an alderwoman.

“They’re going to put me in the hall of fame,” she said. “I guess they feel if you last 20 years they need to put you somewhere, so that’s what they’re going to do.”