York business to host Black Belt mayors

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

For the past year, Black Belt mayors have gathered for meetings that had lead them to Demopolis and the campus of the University of West Alabama in Livingston several times.

Monday, mayors will gather once again, but this time, they will have a chance to see a successful Black Belt business firsthand.

The February Mayor’s Conference is scheduled for the Trackside Blues Caf/ in York. The caf/ is the creation of Marilyn Wade and William Lake, who grew up in York and returned to open a thriving business.

The caf/, York Mayor Carolyn Mitchell Gosa said, is a prime example of the potential for new businesses in the Black Belt.

“We are really excited to have people coming to the Trackside Blues Caf/’, because it is a good example of two people coming home and building a successful business,” Gosa said. “They have put together a really nice place and shown everyone what can be accomplished in our area when you put your mind to it.”

The event is also a way to showcase her city as a whole, Gosa said, which she looks forward to. She said she looked forward to working with the other mayors to push the whole region ahead economically.

“We are so excited to have all of the mayors of the Black Belt coming here to see what our city has to offer,” Gosa said. “This is a great opportunity for all of us to get together and combine our efforts. What is good for one city in the Black Belt is good for us all.”

The guest speaker for this month’s meeting will be Bea Forniss, a representative of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Forniss was recently in Demopolis for a meeting of the Black Belt Action Commission at the Demopolis University Center on the campus of Alabama Southern Community College.

Demopolis Mayor Cecil P. Williamson said the group was so impressed with her, they asked her to share more of her ideas and information Monday.

“She was very helpful,” Williamson said. “She was so helpful we have invited her to speak at the next Mayor’s Conference.”

Monday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.