Hoping local issues get support

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The sausage-making process of state government began in earnest Tuesday as the Mississippi Legislature convened the 2019 session.

Topics of high interest, locally, include gaining state permission to change the manner in which school board members are selected. Both city and county leaders have asked lawmakers to allow for the election of school board members.

We hope that effort is passed this year.

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But like all legislative sessions, this year the highest priority will be on money.

How much is spent, where it’s spent and who gets to spend it.

We applaud the efforts of a grassroots group of residents who are interested in transforming the vacant building which formerly housed Margaret Martin High School into an arts and culture center.

The building is beautiful — aesthetically and structurally — but is outdated and desperately needs a rehab.

The group hopes to convince lawmakers to provide funding to get the project started.

At first glance the issue might seem to be one that should use only local money, not state money.

But that would be a mistake as the building’s historical importance is so unique it has long been designated as a Mississippi Landmark and as such deserves state support.

The Legislature is a bit of a marathon rather than a sprint, but over the next three months, we hope Natchez’s needs earn the necessary support to become accomplished.