By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – City and county leaders on Tuesday vowed to collaborate on projects that could enhance the community and improve everyone’s quality of life.
The commitment came during a joint meeting of the Tupelo City Council and Lee County Board of Supervisors hosted by the Community Development Foundation at its downtown office.
CDF Chairman and CEO David Rumbarger organized the one-hour session so city and county leaders could discuss their recent trip together to Chattanooga, Tenn., and share insights about what they’d learned.
Most officials called it a positive experience and appreciated the opportunity to get to know each other.
The trip occurred during the last week of July. Local officials visited Chattanooga and learned how its city and county leaders transformed the community from a lackluster spot to a popular destination for families.
“I was enlightened to find that the city and county governments worked so well together,” said Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr.
Others at the meeting echoed that sentiment and said Tupelo and Lee County could achieve similar success by more actively collaborating together.
Officials from both entities already meet regularly at the Council of Government sessions in which supervisors and mayors from throughout Lee County discuss the issues they face.
District 3 County Supervisor Darrell Smith said those meetings could be expanded to include conversations about potential joint projects – especially between Tupelo and Lee County. Smith further suggested that CDF organize those gatherings.
Leaders left the meeting encouraged but didn’t set a date for any future meet-ings. CDF officials said they would compile meeting notes and send them to each group.