City attorney squabble offers lessons for mayor, aldermen

Published 12:33 am Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Natchez aldermen are expected to come together today to choose an attorney to represent the city on legal matters.

Regardless of the ultimate decision, we can rest assured the city’s leaders have worked the due diligence necessary to redress a rash and politically divisive decision hastily made on the first day of the new administration.

Today’s decision, if made, will come after a round of interviews with prospective candidates.

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That did not happen on the first vote. Initially, the mayor had his nominee and a controlling number of board members selected another candidate.

The two sides became upset with one another and now, more than a month later, we are expecting some kind of resolution.

We hope that all sides in the matter learned a valuable lesson on the importance of communicating to all parties — fellow leaders and the public at large — before entering into important decisions.

Doing so can help avoid misunderstandings and missteps.

In the end, the disagreement over the selection of a city attorney may wind up being a good thing for the mayor and board.

That may be particularly true if they learn a greater respect for one another and the public in the process of righting the initial misstep.