ALM convention could benefit city

Published 9:33 pm Friday, May 8, 2009

Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson took in the Alabama League of Municipalities annual convention on May 2-5 in Montgomery, taking advantage of an opportunity to gain information that would be beneficial to the city.

Grayson was joined by Demopolis City Council members Thomas Moore, Mitchell Congress and Bill Meador.

Moore was appointed to the board of the Municipal Worker’s Compensation Fund and chaired the resolutions committee meeting held on May 2.

“It was a very good meeting from an educational perspective,” Grayson said. “Being a new mayor, there is just so much to learn, and I had the opportunity to talk with others who have been in the office — mayors and councilmen — not to mention the League staff, who were really good.

“They hold workshops on various things. The workshops that I chose to attend were ‘The Liability of the Police Department,’ that was conducted by (former Demopolis public safety director) Jeff Manuel. That was very informative. I went to one about Main Street, keeping the downtown functional. The main thing they talked about was that it doesn’t matter about the size of the town. If you have a functional and operating downtown, that’s a good indicator of the overall health of the town.”

Grayson said he was able to get some great ideas to work with the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce from that “Main Street” workshop.

“I also took part in a workshop about laws governing expenditures of the municipal fund,” he said. “They also had an ‘Ask your attorney’ panel where you got to ask the League’s four attorneys on staff. There were questions ranging from how to conduct a meeting to the legal parameters in the roles of mayor or councilman.”

One of the highlights of the convention was Gov. Bob Riley speaking at the convention at the May 4 luncheon.

The opportunity to meet with other mayors and council members from across the state was one that Grayson enjoyed and took advantage of.

“It was very good,” he said. “You get to network with various people and hear how others do it. It may not be what you would like to do, but it gives you ideas as to what you may want to do or may not want to do. For somebody who is new and ‘green’ on the job like myself, it was very informative.”