City needs to give YMCA opportunity

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, October 31, 2017

As Natchez leaders work to hammer out a renewed agreement with the YMCA, we urge them to take off their status quo glasses and look for possibilities.

For far too long, the community’s recreation efforts have been stagnant.

The city initially showed signs of potentially letting go of its “that’s the way we’ve always done it” grip on recreation when it initially agreed to partner with the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission on recreation.

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Then after the recreation commission contracted with the YMCA to lead recreation, the city could not handle the complaints from city workers who refused to answer to the YMCA. Rather than going back to the real reason why the city and county were changing its approach to recreation, city leaders backed up and started convincing themselves, recreation was wonderful as it stood.

One of the city’s gripes has been the management of city parks and the baseball fields at Duncan Park.

One need only look carefully at those facilities to realize, while city workers and perhaps countless volunteers have put in many hours to make the facilities usable, they are far from optimal or even modern.

To move recreation ahead, something must change. To continue doing the same thing we’ve been doing for years is highly likely to result in the same results.

We urge city leaders to think about this and think about making a fundamental change in recreation by giving up a little control and allowing the YMCA to give it a try for a while. If it doesn’t work as expected, the city can take back control later.