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Legislators should have shown up

Only one area legislator showed up for Monday’s Legislative Breakfast organized by the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce, and that was District 97 Rep. Sam C. Mims V, R-McComb.

Thank goodness Mims attended, or it would not have been much of a legislative breakfast.

Mims was the lone legislator to field several questions and to hear concerns from some 50 or so local officials and residents of Natchez and Adams County who came to meet leaders, not face a nearly empty table.

Chamber CEO Debbie Hudson said she believed Monday was the first time in 12 years when only one legislator had shown up for the annual event and graciously noted that many of our local legislators had recently been appointed to committee leadership positions. Perhaps the legislators were too busy doing the business of government to show up to meet constituents, answer questions and communicate their goals.

Last year, however, every one of the local legislators turned up for the event.

Last year, we recall, was an election year.

Despite last year’s perfect attendance, few of the top priorities that were addressed during last year’s Legislative breakfast were passed.

Legislators who missed Monday’s meeting also missed out on hearing constituents express interest in many of the same topics that did not get passed last year, including a request for funding for the renovation of the Margaret Martin Building and an elected school board in Adams County. They also missed hearing about new requests, including $1.2 million in State Aid money previously allocated for a widening and drainage project on Morgantown Road to be reinstated.

We are happy and proud that our local legislative leaders have been appointed to important leadership positions and committee positions this term of the Legislature, and perhaps their lack of attendance can be attributed to those greater responsibilities.

We hope, however, those legislators are not too busy to hear Adams County constituents’ concerns and needs and hope they can use their positions to improve the record of getting legislative measures passed that are important to their constituents.