ATLANTA — The Hinesville mayor, council, city manager and assistant city manager were among nearly 800 Georgia city officials to attend the Georgia Municipal Association’s annual Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta on Jan. 26-28. The annual conference provides city officials an opportunity to learn more about legislation under consideration at the Georgia Capitol, attend training sessions and hear from state leaders.
A special pre-session conference on the role of city government in education was held Jan. 25. State School Superintendent John Barge outlined some of the opportunities and challenges facing schools and the state, and participants engaged in breakout sessions to establish ways cities can help schools before hearing from a panel of experts on the subject.
Training classes on Jan. 26 provided city leaders with insight and information on topics such as municipal finance, council-staff relationships, human resources, ethics and open meetings/open records.
During the conference, officials had the choice of attending concurrent sessions on becoming more globally competitive, engaging changing populations or learning more about designing retirement plans for cities and upcoming changes to accounting standards. They also participated in the GMA’s six policy committees and heard from the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house on their plans for the legislative session. In addition, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood addressed transportation spending in Georgia and projects the federal government is funding.
“Attending Mayors’ Day gives us an opportunity to hear about legislation affecting our cities so we can then discuss these issues with our legislators, and it also gives us a voice in shaping GMA’s legislative policies,” Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said.