Alderwoman: I did my job, nominated best candidate for city attorney

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016

As an alderwoman, in the mayor/board of aldermen form of government under which the City of Natchez operates, my role is to make motions, nominations, chair my assigned committee and represent the constituents of Ward 1 in terms of their problems and concerns. One such recent nomination and motion was the nomination of Everette Sanders to represent the City of Natchez as the attorney.

I am an independent thinker with 20 years of experience in municipal government. I have all three levels of certified training from the Mississippi Municipal League. From this background, I nominated and voted for the best-qualified person, in my opinion, for the position of City Attorney. Mr. Sanders has experience in representing municipalities as well as county governments and school boards in Mississippi. He was the city attorney for the City of Natchez from 2006 through 2012. He represented the city during the negotiations of the contract with Premiere Gaming, currently known as the Magnolia Bluff Casino along with other pertinent legal matters. He served under two mayors: Mayor Phillip West and Mayor Jake Middleton. Thus his service transcended race. In my opinion, Mr. Sanders could hit the ground running with a thorough background and knowledge of city government.

Once Mr. Grennell won the primary election, I sent him a message suggesting a meeting in an effort to have a smooth transition. The mayor took no action to meet with me.

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I took an oath on Friday morning to uphold the charter of the City of Natchez and at 2 p.m. I did my job. Despite what people say and what others write, I will do my job and that is to make decisions in the best interest of Ward 1 and the city of Natchez.

I wish Mayor Grennell would refrain from being disrespectful of fellow elected officials.

We, as a board, should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

At this point, the mayor needs to lead by example. I hope he will see the wisdom to apologize for making defamatory statements about fellow board members and bring about a working relationship between the board of aldermen and the mayor to move Natchez forward.


Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis is the Natchez alderman for Ward 1.