City needs to focus on managing its properties

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 11, 2018

The City of Natchez must get itself better organized and focused on managing the city’s business.

In the latest example of the city’s failure to pay attention to details of city government, aldermen only recently seem to have discovered, or at least publicly acknowledged, that a church that had leased the Natchez City Auditorium, was years behind on its rent.

Apparently the city and the church are in disagreement on what work the church did to the building that could be credited against the lease.

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If the city were paying attention, it would have recognized this and resolved the matter before years had passed.

This is not the first time the city has woefully mismanaged a lease of public property. When the city evicted the former owner of a restaurant that was a long-time tenant of the Broadway Street depot, the city again disclosed the owner was behind on rent.

Later the city had to file a lawsuit in an attempt to recoup the more than a year-and-a-half in rent the owner had not paid.

Public properties are important and their management is too.

If the city cannot work out a system for handling such things and ensuring someone in city government looks at such things monthly, then the city either needs to farm out the management to a private party manager or consider selling off public property.

In the most recent case, even though the church is a non-profit, the city needs to aggressively go after collecting what is owed to city taxpayers or find a way to mediate the matter.