Merry Christmas from OneBoard

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Merry Christmas! The citizen initiative to dissolve Natchez city government continues in 2019 under the direction of OneBoard.

OneBoard seeks city government dissolution with all local government services provided by the Adams County Board of Supervisors. Visit, for a printable petition to dissolve Natchez city government, plus information on bumper stickers, push cards, documents repository, and other relevant information. The website is currently being populated, so visit often for alerts, updates and newly posted resources. A broad range of city documents will be uploaded to allow taxpayers to self-educate and provide informed public comment. 

After several years study, we conclude that the BOS can perform all local governmental functions. The entire county will be unincorporated. There will be immediate financial savings with elimination of eight elected city positions and support staff no longer necessary for local government administration.

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Meanwhile, city elected officials recently once again announced that they need to delay the needed transition because they think they cannot get the job done without outside consultants and forums. They want to bring in paid consultants to tell us what the general public already knows — we only need OneBoard.

You may wonder why city officials know so little about their work. The recent “study” announcements and forums belie the fact they have never read the multiple studies and reports commissioned here since 1951.

Moreover, none can answer the question of why they are needed. You may also rightly wonder why the city would consider spending another dime of taxpayer money when they should be able to figure out what needs to be done to save the area by simply walking over to the Armstrong Library and spending a few hours.

While city documents are constantly in disarray, our public library was able to quickly retrieve from its own collection relevant studies and reports for our review.

Those materials are each being uploaded to our website. Each should be read in the context of then existing city and county populations for the date of each study/report, compared to 2018.  

The 1977 report recommends one unit/board of local government in Adams County. It outlines six major departments. It includes a county administrator as chief executive officer of the local government. 

It clearly contemplates a process of transition into OneBoard. Back in 1977, annual cost savings were projected at $672,400. Today, with elimination of some of the highest-paid city officials in the state and staff, savings in the range of $1 to $2 million per year or more should be possible.

Other OneBoard benefits recognized way back in 1977 include equitable distribution of taxation and services, administrative professionalism, uniformity of planning and land development controls, and responsiveness to the public. Wow! These are the same goals and aims as OneBoard’s grass-roots effort to dissolve Natchez city government.  

Tightening the belt and reducing time wasted is critical for our community’s survival, even if it rocks a few party boats. The bottom line is that OneBoard is our community’s chance for survival and rebirth.

There is no personal agenda other than survival. It is respect for fixed income residents worried over bills, preservation of core public assets, dispassionate relinquishment/divestment of public properties that should be placed back on the tax rolls, elimination of failed socialism, like low to no rent, and preparing the community to make itself again attractive as a place for investment that yields jobs that pay living wages and generate taxes.

Most importantly, OneBoard is committed to trying to stop the exodus of the under 40 adults essential for repopulation, community stability and sustainability. To do so, bold, structural changes must be made in the local government model.  

Against this, city officials stifle debate, conduct unlawful secret meetings and delve into troublesome areas in which it has no business, like The Depot. There, the same City that failed to collect rent from the City Auditorium proposes to go into competition with private businesses, which have invested downtown without any grant money, tax credits, tax abatement or the like.

This, along with business steering and rigging, is how government kills legitimate new private investment. Others say The Depot is never to be used for-profit. The discussion so far clearly indicates an unlawful public-private business venture. The Depot is suitable for a public visitor reception center, recreation send-off, and long needed public restrooms. The city should abandon its plans to go into the restaurant business as a co-venturer.  

City officials also continue to resist taking the needed legislative steps needed to make the Natchez Convention Promotion Commission independent, like Natchez Water Works and Natchez Housing Authority.

City officials have no expertise in tourism management. Our area has been hurt by the “all in” by the city on tourism. Finally, the priority of elected city officials appears largely to be supplementation of retirement income and expensive personal travel paid by taxpayers to California  and Washington with no benefit to the City.    

If this area is to have any chance of regaining relevancy, city government must be dissolved, and we must go to OneBoard. 


Paul H. Benoist is a Natchez resident.