By Joel Hall
On Oct. 2, State Sen. Gail Buckner (D-Jonesboro) and Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt will host the first in a series of gatherings meant to get all of the county's leaders on the same page in any efforts to enhance growth and development in Clayton County.
"I think that it will be so beneficial to the county to have elected leaders together, and talk about the good things happening in Clayton County," Buckner said. "I think it's an educational opportunity for our different elected officials to bring everybody up to date on what they are working on. Communication is a great resource and a great tool. We just need more opportunity for our elected officials to talk together, and for citizens to hear from their elected officials. I think it is a great opportunity for the community to bond and find ways of working together and moving forward."
The first Leadership Roundtable of Clayton County will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 9:30 a.m., in the council chambers of the Lake City Municipal Center, located at 5455 Jonesboro Road in Lake City. All elected officials in the county are invited to the meetings to discuss "new and positive initiatives in the community," according to a news release issued by Buckner's office.
Oswalt also said the meetings would get local elected leaders "on the same page" concerning state-wide issues, such as a proposed regional transportation special local option sales tax (T-SPLOST).
"There is a big push for the T-SPLOST, which would only be for the metro area," Oswalt said. "That would only be a Band-Aid. Transportation does not stop at the city limits. Some people say that the south Georgia people won't go for it [a state-wide transportation tax], but I think if they know their taxes will stay locally, then they will.
"There are no fences around Lake City," he added. "There are no fences around Clayton County. We need to get together as a governing body and realize that what's good for one is good for the other. We want Clayton County to be a place where if you mention it, people won't shrug their shoulders."
Buckner said the idea for the leadership roundtable grew out of conversations among legislators, mayors, and other elected officials earlier this year. She said the meetings will rotate to a different Clayton County city each month.
The first session will serve as an "organizational meeting," Buckner said, and while the public is invited to attend, there will not be a period for public comment. She said public comment may be added to future roundtable meetings. The state senator said the next leadership roundtable session will take place in November in the City of Riverdale, but said the date, time, and location will be announced at a later date.
For more information, contact Sen. Buckner at (770) 473-9093, or Mayor Oswalt at firstname.lastname@example.org.