Ward 6 voters will elect new alderman on May 25

Published 2:10 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Ward 6 voters will go to the polls on May 25 to choose a new member of the board of aldermen to represent them.

Dan Dillard, who served as Ward 6 aldermen for 14 years, died unexpectedly on March 29.

Those who want to run for election as Ward 6 alderman must qualify by turning in 50 signatures of qualified Ward 6 voters by Friday, May 5, at 5 p.m. to Megan McKenzie, the Natchez City Clerk, Callaway said.

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The voting precinct for the Ward 6 Alderman election will be at the Duncan Park Canteen from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 25. Only registered voters of Ward 6 will be allowed to cast ballots in the election.

Callaway reminded aldermen that earlier this year, they approved redistricting lines. However, because the new district or ward boundaries must be approved by first the governor and then the attorney general, which has not happened as of yet, the election will be held using current Ward 6 boundaries.

In addition, the aldermen voted unanimously to appoint Ward 3 Alderman Sarah Carter Smith as the next mayor pro tem, replacing Dillard.

Smith now has the longest seniority among current aldermen.

In other action on Tuesday, aldermen:

• Agreed to close Rembert Street from the intersection of Lumber Street forward. The owner of Sunnyside, Colleen Wilkins, had asked the city to pave the street. However, because Wilkins is the only property owner on either side of the street past Lumber Street, Mayor Dan Gibson said it was easiest for the city to close the street and let it become the property of the property owner on the street.

“To be honest, I thought that portion of the street was a driveway,” Gibson said.

• Heard during the mayor’s report that MDOT has almost completed its construction work on the bypass and would begin upgrading the striping on the roadway when all the resurfacing is complete.

• Heard from the mayor about meetings with officials with the Natchez-Adams Humane Society, “and we have a very good, forward plan for better animal control.”

Gibson also said the city is advertising for a second animal control officer, and that funding is being sought to retrofit a new building located next to the current Humane Society Animal Shelter on Liberty Road that will be used by the city to house animals that animal control officers pick up.

He said Natchez Police Officer Hannah Willis, “who has a real passion for animals,” will take on a supervisory role over the animal control officers.