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I proclaim it Task Force Time in Natchez

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And one person didn’t build it either. If I’ve learned anything in life it’s this — one cannot do the task alone. In Natchez, there are many tasks to be done. And the Mayor is only one person. So I am asking for help.

To implement our plan for the Natchez Renewal, we are appointing Task Forces. These committees will study and discuss issues related to specific areas and make recommendations for action. We need volunteers to make this happen. Below is a partial list, arranged in order according to the points in our Natchez Renewal Plan, along with brief descriptions:

1. Help Tourism and Local Business Recover: Task Force on Tourism Ingenuity and Diversity — explore ways for Natchez to achieve greater success by broadening our tourism strategies. Task Force on Downtown Development — identify key strategies to aggressively promote and develop a vibrant city.

2. Create a Vocational Training Educational Center: Job Training Task Force — Establish the strategy for funding the cleanup of the old tire plant and transforming it into the region’s largest Job Training Center. This is one of the worst environmental hazards in our state, currently costing the City of Natchez $90,000 per year to keep secure.

3. Implement “M.E.D. Natchez” — Medical Economic Development Program: MED Natchez Task Force — Perform a Market Analysis of Natchez and the surrounding geographic area to identify key strategies for transforming our city into a Healthcare Hub.

4. Renew Youth Recreational Programs: Task Force on Recreational Renewal — Define a new plan for recreation in Natchez, to include restoration of our parks and youth programs and a strategy for building a Sports and Wellness Complex. We also will be establishing sub-committees to look at Tennis and Golf.

5. Fight Crime and Build a Smart, Safe City: Safe City Task Force — Identify ways to fight crime, solve crime and aggressively reduce the presence of gangs and drugs in our city. Included will be strategies for working with the courts to make sure criminals are not being routinely released back into Natchez.

6. Hold Monthly Unity & Worship Gatherings: Task Force on Unity — Identify key target areas for building unity in Natchez. Unity is the key word to Community and Opportunity. And we can have neither Community nor Opportunity without Unity. Key areas will include utilizing music and the historic Natchez Bluff and Bandstand for monthly gatherings during this time when inside activities must be limited. More than just meetings, this task force will key in on specific action plans to address long-neglected needs for all of Natchez, especially with regard to North Natchez.

So there you have it — The Task Force List. And again, I am asking for help. If any of these areas appeal to you or someone you know, please contact me. My email address is mayor@natchez.ms.us. My phone number is 601-445-7555. May God Bless Natchez!

Dan Gibson is the mayor or Natchez.