Georgia Cities Week 2014 gets under way Sunday with a photo exhibit at Pembroke’s Downtown Art Center. It ends with a kid’s fishing derby on April 26 at J.F. Gregory Park in Richmond Hill.
In between are several events geared toward the Georgia Municipal Association’s theme of “People, Place and Purpose.”
There’s a business breakfast Monday morning at the Richmond Hill City Center where state transportation board member Ann Purcell will speak. Tuesday is Volunteer Recognition Day in Pembroke, and there are additionall events lined up throughout the week, from an employee luncheon in Richmond Hill to Public Safety Days in Pembroke.
Why all the fuss?
For Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler, Georgia Cities Week is important because it explains the role cities play in the day-to-day lives of its residents and because city government is right around the corner, not in Atlanta or Washington, D.C.
“Out of all levels of government, cities are closest to its citizens,” he said Friday. “This is a way of letting them know some of what we do.”
For Pembroke Mayor Mary Warnell, the week is also an opportunity for her home town to fly its flag a bit.
“Georgia Cities Week gives us an opportunity to showcase our city,” she said. “We have planned events throughout the week to recognize the people who live and work in our city, the places where they work, and the services we provide to our citizens.”
It’ll be a busy week for both mayors, who are expected to preside over many of the events.
“It’s difficult for me to choose one event as my favorite,” Warnell said. “I enjoy the Public Safety Days we conduct for the students at Lanier and Bryan County Elementary, the reception where we thank the volunteers who serve on city boards and committees, the Photo Exhibit at the Arts Centre, and of course the Easter Eggstravanza for our grand finale. Each event targets a different audience, so I find it too difficult to choose one over the other.”
Fowler also had trouble singling out an event as his favorite.
“It’s always fun watching the kids fish during our fishing derby,” he said. “But I also like the business breakfast, and it’ll be good to get Ann Purcell’s perspective on transportation issues. We’ll have our employee luncheon on Wednesday and I always enjoy getting a chance to meet and talk with our employees.”
At the end of the day, both mayors hope residents who attend a Georgia Cities Week event take one thing away.
“I hope our citizens recognize that we are constantly working hard to make Pembroke the place they are proud to call home,” Warnell said.
Fowler put it this way.
“Hopefully, they’ll come way with the knowledge that city staff is there to serve them and they do the best to meet the needs of citizens,” he said.