Ackerman officials attend conferences

By Chuck Bailey The Choctaw Plaindealer Several officials from the town of Ackerman attended two separate educational conferences this month. Ackerman Mayor Dick Cain said, “These conferences were great and provided tremendous opportunities for our city to explore ideas. The first conference was the Mississippi Municipal League (MML) 2015 Small Town Conference. The conference was titled “ Small Towns. Bright Ideas.” It was held at the newly renovated Mill Complex in Starkville, Wednesday, October 14 and Thursday, October 15. In attendance was Mayor Cain, Ackerman Ward 4 Alderman, Billy Ganann and Ackerman City Clerk, Debbie Boley. The first day they enjoyed a continental breakfast before they broke out into their first session, Basic Municipal Organization, presented by Dr. Eddie French, Executive Director, Stennis Institute of Government & Community Development. They also attended, Professional Development: Public Speaking with Pizazz, taught by Deborah Tierce with Tierce Motivational Training. In the afternoon, on the first day they met in groups that were called Tracks. The City of Ackerman Officials chose to attend Track 2, Local Government Management, Managing Conflict between the Mayor and Board. Summer Davis, Center Head for the Center for Government & Community Development with the Mississippi State University Extension Service taught the track. Next, they attended Track 1, Cleaning Private Property, Step-by-Step of the Clean up Process, presented Buddy Sanders, Jeff Lyles and Chris Latimer; with the City of Starkville. At the end of the day it was Track 3, Grants 101: Getting Them, Keeping Them, and Getting More. Samantha J. Atkinson, Director of Performance Audit Division with the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor, was the final presenter on day one. Thursday the attendees enjoyed a general session breakfast while they were given a Mississippi Mayors Forum Announcement by Dr. French. After that Shari Veazey, Executive Director of the MML gave a legislative update. The conference ended with a panel discussion of successful ideas that the officials could replicate in their town. Wednesday, October 21st, Police Chief, Kevin Stark and City Clerk, Debbie Boley attended the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety Fiscal Year 2017 Grant Writing Conference. The conference was held at the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety in Ridgeland. They attended this conference to receive an update on any new grants that may be available, as well as, any updates on grant writing guidelines. The Mississippi Office of Highway Safety offers municipalities grants to help with the cost of traffic safety issues. Mike Brasher, Public Works Director, attended the Mississippi Rural Water Fall Conference in Batesville, Tuesday, October 13 and Wednesday October 14.