A rose to the Columbus Falcons and Starkville Yellow Jackets boys’ basketball teams for an outstanding season that ended late Saturday when the two teams met for the Class 6-A championship in Jackson. Leading into the game, the outcome didn’t matter: the Golden Triangle was going to proudly boast the top two teams in the state. The two sported a combined record of 52-10 going into the title game. Columbus can claim its first title in its first-ever championship game appearance. Clearly both teams are winners and should be commended on their outstanding achievements this season. Congratulations, Falcons and Jackets!
A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District and the Columbus Redevelopment Authority for joining forces in an effort to breath new life in the sale of the Lee Middle School property. While the 14-acre property has been on the market for almost five years now, little has been done to aggressively prepare and market the site. Previous efforts have consisted primarily of putting up a few “For Sale” signs. Now, through the CRA’s efforts, environmental studies will be conducted, cost analysis will be performed and a real effort to find a suitable client will begin. The Lee site is an important cog in the continued growth of the Highway 45/Military Road corridor, which has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. We are pleased to see a cohesive strategy for transforming an eyesore into an asset.
A thorn to Lowndes County supervisors Harry Sanders and Leroy Brooks, both of whom are advocating for adding un-budgeted new positions. Sanders, the board president, wants the county to create a position for a full-time IT specialist while Brooks is pushing to create an assistant director’s position for the county’s two-person Emergency Management Agency. The merits of adding these positions aside, we find no compelling reason why either position should be debated until work begins on the 2016-17 budget this fall. It is fiscally irresponsible to add positions now without careful consideration of how adding those positions will impact the county’s overall budget. In this sense, timing is everything. We urge both Sanders and Brooks to pull these proposals off the table until budget plans are discussed. We see no real down-side to waiting until then.
A rose to the faculty and students at Mississippi School for Math & Science for the mock presidential primary elections held Monday at the school. Turn-out among the students was 77 percent. We view that as an encouraging sign because it is important that young people become engaged in our political process on the local, state and national level. While these students were not eligible to vote in the “real” primaries, the semester-long focus on the election process helped students understand how our elections work and helped them understand how the choices made at the ballot box affect them, too. We hope Monday’s mock election will be for these students the beginning of a life-long commitment to participating in our government through exercising their right to vote. Well done, students!
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.