Yazoo must respond to changing circumstances

Dear Editor,

God loves the citizens of Yazoo City.  Surely there is a future for Yazoo, and our hope will not be cut off. 

Yet we must be wise.  Yazoo City has undergone depopulation, and the poverty rate has increased to 49%.  The mayor-alderman form of government was well suited for an earlier era, but no longer fits our means.

Our soil easily erodes, and the deterioration of our roads is alarming.  I know of several roads in my neighborhood alone where the roadbed has washed out, leaving a hollow casing of asphalt in places.  If this deterioration of the roads continues unchecked, accidents and litigation will devour what little money we have. 

Given our circumstances, I propose that a council-manager form of government would be better suited to current realities.  A volunteer non-paid council, either elected or serving ex officio (e.g. superintendent of schools, president of Chamber of Commerce), could set policy, much like the board of a charity.  A paid city manager WITH CREDENTIALS IN ROAD ENGINEERING would answer to the council and function much like a CEO of a medium sized business.  This change would allow a greater portion of our limited budget to be dedicated to infrastructure and provide more longterm stability.

Last on the subject of city governance, I urge our citizens to pray for our leaders that we may lead peaceful and quiet lives.

There is another subject for prayer in our city, and that is the stewardship of 16th section land.  According to the Secretary of State website, the Yazoo City Municipal School District has no active leases on 16th section land.  Yazoo County School District has 88, and Humphreys County School District has 18.  This may explain why Yazoo City Municipal School District raised their millage rate, and the other two did not.  The income from leases would be a blessing for our children and our taxpayers alike.  However, if no lessees are to be found, a new model for 16th section land stewardship should be developed.  Perhaps the district could enter into a partnership with the Mississippi State University School of Forestry and plant the land with timber or a perennial crop like bamboo.  Pray for financial blessings to flow from our 16th section land to our children.

Respectfully, Jill Woodliff