Centerville council explores ways to connect with local legislative delegation

Sun News correspondentMay 22, 2013 

CENTERVILLE -- City Council heard Tuesday about a program that will bring it and state legislators together to discuss issues and concerns.

City Administrator Patrick Eidson said Wednesday that Vienna Mayor Pro Tem Beth English addressed council during its regular work session, telling council members about the Georgia Municipal Association’s Hometown Connection program, which links communities and legislators through local gatherings.

She said Vienna has been a satisfactory participant in past Hometown Connection events, Eidson said.

Centerville officials recently have discussed ways to strengthen ties and communication with the area’s local legislative delegation. Eidson said their attempts now seem to be taking the form of the GMA program with a possible partnership with Warner Robins and Perry.

Eidson said the Hometown Connection program brings local legislators together with city officials in the community for a half day of discussions, so each can air challenges and keep one another abreast of future needs and plans.

Eidson said a committee is being formed to schedule a local Hometown Connection meeting in late fall or winter before the next state legislative session in January 2014.

Also Tuesday, council continued an ongoing technology discussion about the city providing council members and department heads with an iPad or similar device to better communicate and handle the city’s business, Eidson said.

Although some members said they needed a better way to stay connected to the city and its business, they said they did not necessarily want to add another technology device such as a tablet to what they carry, especially since some already carry similar personal and/or business devices, Eidson said.

Eidson was tasked to research the possibility of finding an expanded-capabilities smart phone that might function as a phone, computer and in other ways, combining more functions in a single device and smaller package.

Council also discussed the city’s proposed fiscal 2014 budget, Eidson said. There were no changes suggested to the $10.5 million plan, which is based on the city’s current millage rate of 11.981. The current plan has no provision for raises for city personnel.

A public hearing on the budget will be June 4 with likely adoption June 18. A copy is available for viewing at City Hall.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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