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Mayor presents annual report
Development in tight year'

By By Fredie Carmichael/staff writer
Jan. 30, 2002
In his annual report to the city council Tuesday night, Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith thanked the many volunteers who rallied to support their country after the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks.
Before his speech, Smith handed out a 20-page report that included an overview of each city department, budget information and goals for the future. The report also features photographs and descriptions of local volunteers.
Smith said 2001 was a time of significant development for Meridian, even though it was a tight budget year.
To illustrate his point, Smith noted that during the past year the Mississippi Legislature officially named Meridian as the home of the Southern Arts and Entertainment Center, and that the Riley Education and Performing Arts Center project and downtown parking garage are running "right on schedule."
The head of the fire, police, parks and recreation, public works, community development, and finance and records departments, as well as Chief Administrative Officer Ken Storms and Assistant for Governmental Affairs Maureen Lofton, addressed the council after Smith's speech.
Newly appointed department heads Benny DuBose, police chief, and Monty Jackson, public works director, both said they wanted to ensure a good quality of life for the residents of Meridian.
Jackson said he is looking forward to working with public works and other departments over the next year to "improve what we've done in the past and make this a better place to live."