Mayor Grennell is not making call for unity

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Since everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, here is mine.

As a former student of Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, I have worked alongside her on several community outreach projects. I can truly say she has her Ward 1 constituents and this community’s best interests at heart. When a person points out inequalities in their city and celebrates people who were once ignored, that does not classify that person as racist.

Over the course of this week, everyone has shared their opinion about how racist Alderwoman Mathis is while glorifying our mayor who happened to call her the same in his supposed efforts to rectify the city’s problems.

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Mr. Grennell, let me be the first to say you should be ashamed and tired of playing “the good ole boy.” You cannot preach unity and be the one to cause the division.

The swift actions of Mr. Grennell have been appalling and arrogant.

First, Mr. Grennell sends a letter to the former mayor and the previous board before being sworn in cautioning them not to take any action that will bind him and his new administration. Now, in most municipalities there are laws to prevent such actions, but knowing “Natchez politics” I can see why the letter was warranted. However, I cannot figure out why the mayor didn’t send a correspondence of his choice for city attorney directly to the alderpersons as done previously instead of releasing Robert Latham’s name using The Natchez Democrat?

However, even more disturbing, when Alderwoman Mathis abided by the democratic process and nominated attorney Everett Sanders, which later passed, Mr. Grennell once again turns to The Democrat saying that this was an appointment of a less qualified attorney than his nominee simply because her choice was African-American?

This doesn’t seem to be a call of unity to me, more so a public stunt to serve this 91 percent which you speak of.

Mr. Grennell, did it ever occur to you the board of aldermen might have questioned the board of supervisors’ decision not to reappoint Latham? Latham was the registered agent of Venco one month prior to the county’s unveiling of the company. We all remember the company that made headlines for bringing a minimum of 50 jobs for the residents of Adams County paying twice minimum wage! Well, that’s the Venco business that later dissolved.

Considering former supervisor Spanky Felter felt as though he needed an attorney to work with all board members! (The mayor even lost his position as board president that year.)

However, the mayor didn’t just stop there; he went on to discredit Joyce and her work by accusing her of promoting race for twenty years.

How dare you? Is this what a call of unity looks like, or an attempt at becoming favorable?

Some seem to forget the fact that we lost our county-owned hospital during Mr. Grennell’s presidency on the board of supervisors, with his mom serving the hospital as one of its board of trustees.

The Public Employees Retirement System, which was one of the creditors for Natchez Regional Medical Center, is tied up in bankruptcy.

Mr. Grennell says boldly he received 91 percent of the electorate, and this is what they want him to do.

Considering the fact blacks have a history of not returning to the polls a second time, (I know more than 8 percent), it’s safe to say you sir did not receive 91 percent of the electorate. You received 91 percent of the votes from the people that voted. Considering no news outlet broke down the general election by wards, I’m eager to see who make up this 91 percent that you speak of, for whom you are causing so much division!

Mr. Grennell, this community cannot afford your attempt to curry favor in the public’s eyes by trying to destroy the legacy of the ones who paved the way by sacrificing for you to be where you are. Most importantly, stop using The Democrat to do it!

Stop making a scene. Get out your feelings, put your gloves on, and fight like you were elected to do!


Javarrea Jones is a Natchez resident and student at Alcorn State University.