Board shows commitment to open meetings

Published 7:46 pm Thursday, July 30, 2020

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We welcome the new attitude of governance from Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson and the newly elected board of aldermen.

Tuesday evening, Gibson and the board went out of their way to make sure the business of the public was being done in view of the public.

When the sausage-making of governing gets too messy, board members have been tempted in the past to go into executive session, preferring to discuss controversial issues away from the public eye.

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Former mayor Darryl Grennell went a long way to making government transparent, but was met with a board that was all too often unwilling to play along.

With a new board comes a new attitude. 

It didn’t take long for Alderwoman Valencia Hall make it known that she was going to be the standard bearer for transparency in government, cautioning her colleagues several times when she believed the board was not abiding by the law.

When the board mentioned discussions of the mayor’s salary, she rightly pointed out that such a discussion could not be done in private. She even went so far as to cite previous rulings to make her case.

In addition to Hall, Gibson expressed his commitment to transparency in government and said he plans to follow the open meetings law more closely than ever.

In our representative democracy, few things are more important than trust.

Trust is necessary for the fair and effective functioning of governing institutions, especially when elected leaders are faced with making difficult decisions.

We welcome the new attitude from Hall, Gibson and the entire board and look forward to four years of more transparent government.