Mayors Conference set for Aug. 19

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-Next Friday mayor’s from five Black Belt counties will gather once again at the Demopolis University Center to further discuss solutions to some of the common problems they face.

At last month’s conference, which was held at The Mustard Seed in Butler, area mayors took a closer look at the direction they planned to aim their organization. The group agreed to include Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Sumter and Marengo Counties in their monthly meetings.

As part of the August meeting the group will work to put together a comprehensive plan to get others excited about participating. A series of guest speakers, who are all known throughout the Black Belt, will also take a turn at the podium. James Mock, Director of the University of West Alabama’s Regional Center for Community and Economic Development, said they plan to hear from several speakers throughout the day.

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“We actually have several different speakers coming this time,” Mock said. “We will have Larry Lee, Felicia Jones from the Black Belt Community Foundation and Law Lamar.”

The current mayor of Rayne, La., will also make the trip to Demopolis to give local mayors some ideas from some of the successes his city has seen.

As always, Mock said lunch and an open forum would be provided for those who attend.

“We will also provide lunch for all attendees and take some time for organizational matters,” Mock said. “We will discuss where we want the group to go from here and discuss the name we want to use and other matters.”

Since the meeting began in January mayors from the five counties who have been chosen to participate in the program have always been very enthusiastic about trading ideas and working together. Mock said he expects more of the same from the August meeting.

“We are always optimistic,” Mock said. “We are looking at having a good attendance from the five counties we decided to include from the past meetings.”

The meetings were designed to help area cities form partnerships to work toward a common idea and plan. Through the meetings the parties try to put aside past competition and differences to drive toward goals that will benefit the entire region.