Ask any elected official and he will tell you (if he's honest) that it's hard to make the tough-but-necessary decisions when you're trying to win a popularity contest.
The three executive searches going on in the Triangle offer a study in contrasts. We're referring to school superintendents in Columbus and Starkville and a police chief in Columbus. Tuesday night, the Mississippi School Boards Association hosted one of those requisite feel-good public meetings to get community input on the qualities we want to see in the next Columbus city schools superintendent.
An earthquake on the East Coast. Hurricane Irene. What's next? And are we prepared for it? What we didn't see much of on the national news, as the aftermath of the latest natural disasters flashed across the screen, was disaster-management strategy.
It's budget season for counties and municipalities. They have until Sept. 15 to adopt a budget. And we've watched as they divvy out the dollars and cents in an attempt to balance their budgets before the deadline.
We consider public safety a right, not a privilege. We expect to be able to walk down the street without being assaulted and to come home to our undisturbed portion of the world -- everything just the way we left it.
Monetarily speaking, Lowndes County is the seventh most valuable county in the state of Mississippi. It's not by accident.
We're a community led by interim leaders -- from the Columbus and Starkville school districts to the Columbus Police Department and Mississippi University for Women.
Locally, the primary election cycle has been as predictable as local elections can be. But there were exceptions. In the Lowndes County school superintendent's race, a seemingly dark-horse candidate trounced a central office insider.
More than a year at the helm, Interim Mississippi University for Women President Allegra Brigham has done what some thought couldn't be done: She has helped unify divided alumni and fostered a renewed sense of optimism.
Life flies by at neck-breaking pace. Blink and another five, 10, 15 years have passed. It's easy, especially in today's frenzied society, to get absorbed in your own world.
You've heard that well-worn adage, "It takes a village to raise a child." It also takes a village to police the community. A recent string of shootings in the city of Columbus has us wondering what's wrong with the village in The Friendly City.
Rich with history and culture, the South can be intoxicating, exotic and sometimes incomprehensible to the outsider. Its tumultuous past and vivid characters also make it an inviting target for national media and Hollywood.
The Columbus school board answers to no one. Or so it seems. When recently asked to appear before the body that appointed them -- the Columbus City Council -- the school board declined, on the advice of their attorney.
Anytime an important community agency has an opportunity to choose new leadership, the net should be cast as far and wide as practically possible. The importance of good leadership cannot be overemphasized.
We've watched the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau plug along without a full-time director for five months.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter." Today is a big day for our state and counties. It's election day.
Perhaps it is the venerable letter. An endless flow of money orders. Daily post-office box checks. Or force of habit.
Brace yourself. This year -- as the Columbus school district struggles with decreased allocations from the state, lower local tax collections and the bill for a new $19.1 million school -- taxes will go up, again. The increase affects hundreds of taxpayers in Columbus and Lowndes County.
1. Ask Rufus: Stand Fast Mississippians LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Kathleen Parker: The new SAT don't care 'bout no fancy words NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Birney Imes: On the road with Louie and Sprocket LOCAL COLUMNS
4. Roses and thorns: 3/9/14 ROSES & THORNS
5. Charles Krauthammer: The wages of weakness NATIONAL COLUMNS