Prattville – A National League of Cities (NLC) Board of Director’s Winter Retreat was held last weekend in Washington, D.C. Prattville Mayor Jim Byard Jr., in the middle of a two-year term on the Board, met with other Board members and several key people from the Obama White House to discuss the NLC’s relationship with Federal partners.
“I am glad that I can bring Prattville’s (our local) perspective to the federal table,” Byard said. “At our meeting last week, I had the opportunity to tell White House officials the struggles that not having a transportation bill has on our city; i.e., recession of funds for our local MPO – the Montgomery Metropolitan Planning Organization.”
During that meeting, the Board of Directors called for more federal action to help cities accelerate job creation and stabilize their budgets. This action was taken due to a new NLC report which projects that the municipal sector will face budget shortfalls and will have to lay off staff, delay or cancel infrastructure projects, and cut public safety services over the next three years.
Byard stated that, luckily, the City of Prattville was in a very enviable position, budget wise.
“We are not looking at furloughs, layoffs, or freezes,” he said. “However, we need a strong federal partnership for large infrastructure projects.”
By serving on the Board, the Prattville mayor can share the city’s concerns firsthand to the municipal advocate organization, to other city leaders, and to national leaders.
“Attendance at NLC Board meetings affords me the opportunity to tell our story, and allows Prattville’s initiatives to be brought to the forefront with our leaders in Washington,” said Byard.
The NLC is the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal governments throughout the United States.
Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, its mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance. It serves as a resource to and an advocate for more than 19,000 cities, villages, and towns.
Article by Melissa Parker
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