Aldermen to attend Mississippi Municipal League’s Small Town Conference

Published 12:01 am Monday, October 12, 2015

NATCHEZ — Three Natchez aldermen are attending the annual Mississippi Municipal League’s Small Town Conference this week in Starkville.

Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, Ward 2 Alderman Rickey Gray and Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard leave Tuesday for the conference, which will focus on ways city officials can better clean private property, manage local government and capture grants.

Gray said he is especially excited about learning ways to better manage a city budget and network with other cities.

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“There will be a class on ways to better perform your duties and manage municipalities more effectively,” Gray said. “I’m looking forward to that.”

Gray and other aldermen voiced concerns during the recent budgeting process about the city having proper management and understanding of its budget.

Gray, who will leave his alderman post next year and become an Adams County supervisor, said he has greatly benefitted from attending past MML conferences, which are hosted several times a year.

“If it weren’t for MML, I wouldn’t be where I am today as far as knowledge with municipal government,” he said. “I just wish some of (the other aldermen) could go, too.”

Other topics on the conference’s agenda include “what elected officials can do to encourage small-scale economic development in their community,” “public speaking with pizzazz” and “A to Z of putting on successful festivals,” among others.

Gray said a segment on “managing conflict between mayor and board” was also on the agenda.

“That should be very educational, and useful,” he said.

Travel expenses for the trip are funded through the city’s travel budget for the aldermen.

Registration was $75 per aldermen. Hotel and gas costs were also provided in the budget.