National mayors pay visit to area

Published 12:55 am Sunday, November 11, 2007

NATCHEZ — Ten mayors from across the country dropped in for a visit to Natchez Saturday. The visitors were all from cities picked by a recent Family Circle rating as the best cities in which to raise a family.

Madison made the list, and Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler invited the mayors to a summit in her town. After workshops Friday and Saturday, the group made the two-hour trip to Natchez.

“I love Natchez,” Butler said as the group sat down to dinner at Monmouth Plantation. “It’s really special.”

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The history and beauty of the town has always had a place in her heart, Butler said. So, she wanted to introduce her colleagues to the town.

“Since seven out of the nine other mayors have never been to Mississippi, I thought to really experience the true South and its hospitality, was to come to Natchez,” she said.

Randy Reed, mayor of Castle Rock, Colo., admired the city’s history.

“Being from Colorado, our heritage is a more Western history,” Reed said. “This town is steeped in history, when the nation was formed.”

Most said they had already learned a lot from the workshops and interacting with other mayors.

Scott Mitchell, mayor of Cedar Park, Texas, brought up a point one of the mayors made in a workshop.

“In some ways, our towns are very different, but not in all ways,” Mitchell said. “Even though we are all different, we all face similar challenges. We are more alike than we are different.”

The mayors planned to see the Angels on the Bluffs performance at the city cemetery, then tour Natchez Sunday.

The towns that made the list were Castle Rock, Colo., Diamond Bar, Calif., Morton Grove, Ill., Cedar Park, Texas, Derby, Kans., Kennesaw, Ga., Cooper City, Fla., Madison, Franklin, Mass. and Chanhassen, Minn.