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Government forums were excellent

The recently concluded forums on efficiency in government gave citizens a great opportunity to learn about issues surrounding consolidation of government services.

The topic of consolidation of government services in Adams County and Natchez has been brought up many times over the past three or four decades.

Efforts to consolidate local government services have ranged from trying to create one central government to oversee all of Adams County and Natchez to consolidating some services.

Services that are already consolidated in Natchez and Adams County include tax collection, E-911 services, fire services and recreation.

We commend the City of Natchez for working with the Stennis Institute of Local Government at Mississippi State University to conduct the forums, which brought in experts on the topic from Georgia where consolidation of governmentals services has been ongoing for several years.

The experts shared their valuable experiences working on consolidation efforts — what worked and what didn’t work — in Georgia even though those efforts do not always translate to the possibilities of consolidation in Mississippi.

What we did learn is that consolidation of city and county services may not always translate into better or more efficient service.

Instead, each effort of consolidation, whether it be water and sewer service, garbage collection or combining city and county into one governmental board, must be thought out in advance to make sure it will achieve the desired result.

We commend all citizens who took the time to attend the forums and hope they found the forums informative as we did.

Now, we all have a better foundation from which to build as we move forward on future discussions of consolidation of governmental services in Natchez and Adams County.

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