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Great kickoff for forum series

Tuesday’s forum on Efficiency in Government was a great first step in helping citizens understand the intricacies involved in making government more effective and efficient.

This newspaper has long advocated consolidation of some city and county governmental services to help make local government more efficient and productive.

Before residents can seriously debate the intricacies of such consolidation efforts, however, they must understand how local government works, and that is what Tuesday’s forum spelled out.

Approximately 200 people turned out for Tuesday’s meeting that featured P. Edward French, Ph.D., a former executive director of the Stennis Institute of Government and professor at Mississippi State University.

French did an excellent job detailing in an easy-to-comprehend, informative and entertaining way, the forms of government available to Mississippi municipalities under state law.

The meeting succeeded in giving people a foundation from which to build for the next forum set for May 21 that will focus on the specifics of consolidation and what has worked and not worked in other parts of the state and nation.

We commend the city for hosting the series and applaud citizens who care enough about their government to attend and learn from the series.

We also thank the Stennis Institute of Government for conducting the excellent series.