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Taking the Field: The relaunch of Southern City 

By Paul Meyer
NCLM Executive Director

You’ll notice that this issue of Southern City is a bit different than previous issues. It’s just the beginning of creating a more modern League.

The League staff is working hard to make sure that we are providing you, our members, with information, resources and assistance that supports you in your duties as elected officials and municipal staff. A newly conceived Southern City is the start of efforts to increase our focus on the many great things that the leaders in this state are doing, and bringing new ideas to help each of you achieve the goals you have set for your town. We also want to shine a spotlight on the stars in municipal government.  

In addition to this editorial space, you will notice that several columns have been added. The columns allow the staff of the League – who are among the best municipal governance minds in the state – to share their knowledge and expertise on specific topics you may be facing. You’ll also see pieces from municipal and business leaders who are among the best and brightest.

But this is just the beginning.

Under the direction of our Board of Directors, League members and stakeholders are working with the University of North Carolina School of Government on a strategic process that will develop a vision for the future of cities and towns in our state. At the end of the visioning efforts, we will have a path for the League and understand how we, collectively as municipal leaders, can maximize our efforts to move municipalities forward and achieve the vision we all will have worked to outline.

By engaging a wide variety of stakeholders – including city officials,  strategic business community partners, legislators and county officials – we hope to get an understanding of the roles that each stakeholder group feels municipalities should play. This external-facing process will provide knowledge that will help us jointly define the vision that will lead us forward and create a rallying point for cities and towns. Municipal government is the level of government that is closest to the citizens. An inclusive visioning process will hopefully lead to a shared method of how to capitalize on the role of cities and towns in the state’s economy, and in our state’s governance structure.

The process is underway, but it is still in its infancy. The annual conference, entitled “CityVision 2014: Charting our Tomorrow," will be held October 11-14 in Greensboro. CityVision 2014 is one of the major points where members will be able to provide input. There will be one general session and two concurrent sessions wholly devoted to the visioning process, and other opportunities for you to provide input will be weaved into the entire conference.

I value everyone’s commitment to improving our municipalities and our state, and I want to make sure the League is supporting those efforts in the most impactful way possible. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on our future as we forge ahead together.