Officials work to close cooperation gap

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
June 9, 2004
City and county officials said today a private, closed meeting they had with U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering could help eliminate competing agendas and improve cooperation on economic development projects.
The Monday meeting took place in a conference room at the East Mississippi Business Development Corp. office. It followed a Lauderdale County Council of Governments meeting that Pickering, the Republican 3rd District congressman, attended.
Norwood was one of four public officials who attended the closed meeting.
Others were Eddie Harper, vice president of the board of supervisors; Barbara Henson, president of the Meridian City Council; Bobby Smith, vice president of the council; and Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith.
Also attending the meeting were business and economic development officials, including EMBDC President Wade Jones. The EMBDC is the county's chief economic development agency.
Local officials said the private meeting was needed because they were able to discuss specific economic development projects that could be threatened by a lack of unity in the community.
Henson, who represents Ward 3 on the Meridian City Council, said the meeting was one of the most productive she's ever attended.
Bobby Smith, who represents Ward 5 on the city council, agreed. Smith said better communication between city and county officials was a main topic of the meeting.

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