The theme of this year’s conference, “Hometown Voices—Wise Choices,” recognizes the importance of local municipal leaders who are committed to making their city or town the best that it can be through the training and leadership development opportunities offered at the conference. United States Congressmen Bennie Thompson, 2nd District, delivered the keynote address at the opening general session of the conference.
An estimated 3,000 municipal elected officials, municipal employees, state agency representatives, legislators, exhibitors and others attended this annual event. Many state and federal agencies provided speakers for the educational sessions. They included the Attorney General’s office, State Auditor’s office, Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Planning and Development Districts, USDA Rural Development, Fannie Mae, MEMA/FEMA, MDEQ among others.
Topics included state law updates, grant writing, community health initiatives, beautification and preservation, infrastructure planning, municipal liability issues and community and economic development.
Other conference highlights included the election of the MML 2008-2009 slate of officers, the presentation of the 2008 Municipal Excellence Awards, induction ceremonies for the 2008 Municipal Hall of Fame and a trade show, showcasing over 190 businesses, state agencies and other organizations. The featured speaker at the Excellence Awards Dinner was the current president of the National League of Cities, Councilmember Cynthia McCollum, City of Madison, AL.
“The MML Annual Conference provides important networking and professional growth opportunities for our members during three full days of presentations and roundtable discussions,” said Pelahatchie Mayor Knox W. Ross, Jr, MML President, 2008-2009.
Established in 1931, MML represents 288 city, town, and village governments in Mississippi. The mission of the MML is helping cities and towns excel through training, lobbying at the state and federal level and providing resources and networking opportunities with state, federal and private entities.