Dawning of new day in store for Natchez, region

Published 6:41 pm Thursday, July 23, 2020

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Today marks a new era in local government for Natchez and the entire region.

Residents will gather at the Natchez bluff at 10 a.m. this morning to watch a new mayor and board members raise their hands and take the oath of office. 

After the current COVID-19 pandemic forced the delay of municipal elections and, in turn, the swearing-in of today’s new administration, the first day of a new administration is finally here.

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A lot is expected of new leaders when they take the oath of office. This year is no exception.

Dan Gibson comes into office with a mandate from voters to turn around a city that has seen a significant drop in population, a continued decline in jobs and an unsettling uptick in crime — all in the midst of worldwide pandemic.

As much as voters might want changes to happen immediately, many of the city’s problems will not be solved by a simple swearing-in ceremony.

In fact, the most important event of the day will be the first meeting of the new mayor and board members at the Natchez Convention Center this afternoon.

The meeting will likely set the tone for local leadership for the next four years. In 2016, Darryl Grennell’s first day in office was met with acrimony from several board members — a bitterness that seemed to hover over Grennell’s adminsitration like a thick fog.

With today’s swearing-in we hope that fog has lifted and a new day is dawning for our city.