Area leaders should focus on needs

Published 12:15 am Sunday, August 7, 2016

Local government leaders in Natchez-Adams County are deep in the middle of budgeting for the next fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

As they work the details, they are wise to focus, as a few have suggested, on what the county needs versus what some county leaders may want.

Both Adams County and the City of Natchez have much work ahead to rebuild infrastructure needs in the community.

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Many city and county roads still need repair. In the city limits, sidewalks are only in great shape on the paths of the Natchez Trails project. Veer just off the trail and many of the city’s sidewalks are atrocious. Woe is a parent pushing a stroller or a person in the wheel chair. Significant areas of Natchez are far from accessible.

Playgrounds and parks still need better maintenance and repair.

Emergency response personnel are typically dreadfully underpaid.

As the city and county create spending plans, we urge them to take a sharp look at non-essentially needs — including their own travel budgets and even their own compensation — and focus on improving the quality of life for residents.

An improved quality of life will reap rewards for decades to come both for existing residents as well as new residents who will be attracted to Natchez because it becomes a community clearly led by people who care about the details and spending taxpayer money on what matters most — the citizens.