One would think ‘mayoring’ a full-time job

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 21, 2009

One would think being CEO of a municipal corporation with nearly 600 employees and an annual budget of more than $30 million would be a full-time job. One would also think the $80,000-plus salary commensurate.

One might think that, but Mayor-elect Paul Winfield does not.

Last week Winfield told Mayor Fred Reeves of Port Gibson that he’d like to keep his jobs there, city attorney and city judge, and Reeves said that would be fine with him.

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Winfield told The Vicksburg Post that it was not the $30,000 salary that would keep his commute to the town of 1,700 south of Vicksburg desirable. It was his “professional obligation.”

Well, last time we checked there were more than 7,000 attorneys in Mississippi. They are not evenly dispersed, of course, but if they were, that ciphers to 85 lawyers per county. Certainly, the good people of Port Gibson could find someone to step up and shoulder the load.

Departing Mayor Laurence Leyens had no outside employer, but did devote time to his private real estate and development undertakings. The difference is that he could schedule those tasks around his mayoral duties. But what if Winfield is in court representing Port Gibson the day a potential investor is in Vicksburg? We have long supported a more cooperative, regional development approach, but what if a company considering locating at the Claiborne County Port is also considering the Port of Vicksburg?

There will be time conflicts and issues conflicts if Winfield holds on to both jobs. Each may well be perfectly manageable.

There is, however, the larger issue of judgment. Winfield got a super-strong endorsement from the voters of Vicksburg. We merit more than part of his attention. Or so one would think.