Clanton leaders attend state convention

Published 10:44 am Friday, May 26, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Some members of the Clanton City Council and Mayor Billy Joe Driver networked with other city leaders from across the state about possible solutions to common challenges during the Alabama League of Municipalities annual convention.

The convention was held May 20 to 23.

Motivational speaker Joyce E. Brooks kicked-off the convention talking about surviving change.

“She was phenomenal,” council member Mary Mell Smith said.

She said the presentation was funny, yet made you think.

“When you go to a convention, then you network with other cities, especially these that are our size,” Smith said.

Council member Sammie Wilson said the convention was very informative.

“It is kind of like a family reunion. We all pretty much have the same problems, and you can come up with some ideas sometimes,” Driver said.

Council member Awlahjaday Agee said there were cities that offered more entertainment options for city residents, and it sparked some ideas for things he would like to see in Clanton.  This was his first year to attend the convention.

“I felt like I wanted to do something to better myself, so I could better do the job,” Agee said.

He said he also wanted to see how other cities might be solving issues similar to those Clanton is facing. The convention showed him that many cities are facing similar issues, such as roads.

Topics included issues related to security in city halls, court systems, preparations for the 2020 census and other needs.

Various committees met during the convention. Driver serves on the insurance committee for cities that have come together and are self-insured for liability coverage.

Driver said the convention alternates its location among the five largest cities in Alabama. This year it was held in Birmingham.

Attendees also get an idea of possible service providers from vendors in the exhibition hall. Driver said he was interested in street sweepers, emergency equipment, lighting and roadway signage vendors.

The League also provides legislative updates to city leaders throughout the year. Smith said the organization also lobbies on behalf of the state’s city leaders. She has attended the convention every year since 2000. Driver said a number of resolutions were presented at the convention that cities were encouraged to support.