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Supervisor: Some boards not on same economic-development page

 

NATCHEZ — Some members of the Adams County Board of Supervisors said they would like to see stronger ties between their economic development partners.

District 2 Supervisor, David Carter said several boards — the Natchez-Adams County Port Commission, the Natchez-Adams County Airport Commission, the Natchez Railway and Natchez Inc. to name a few — that should have a common goal: to improve the local economy.

However, each board has its own agenda that is rarely on the same page as the others, Carter said.

“We have to look at economic development in a different way,” Carter said. “In my opinion, we don’t have near the amount of communication between our different boards and entities that we should have, and I think many of my fellow supervisors feel the same way.

“We have multiple boards, which deal with economic development — the Adams County Port, the airport, the railroad, Natchez Inc. and Natchez Now — and, in my opinion, each of them and their respective directors are not on the same page. We must find a different strategy to unify our economic development and industrial prospect voices.”

During two consecutive meetings of the Board of Supervisors, Carter suggested merging some boards into one cohesive unit.

“They should all work in one direction, or at least answer to one person,” Carter said during a board of supervisors meeting last Tuesday. “I don’t believe they are. They’re certainly not giving us (the Supervisors) the information we need — and at the end of the day, we have to make the decisions.

“It might be easier to merge them into one board. Right now, there’s a high diffusion of responsibility, where no one takes the blame because they all have a piece of that responsibility. We can minimize that diffusion of responsibility by unifying our boards.”

District 1 Supervisor, Mike Lazarus said the supervisors could dissolve the Adams County Port Commission and appoint a few of its members to the Natchez Inc. board, adding that the Natchez Railroad Commission could attend joint meetings with them in order to streamline communication between those entities.

“Once a month, when Natchez Inc. has their meetings, they could approve the same things that the port commission does and the Natchez Railway could be a voice in the room,” Lazarus said. “It would put them all in one place where everyone is working together.”

Although Carter brought up the topic of merging the commissions together in two consecutive meetings, no motions were made to that effect.

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