Council asks for input from city residents

By Mary Katherine Murphy

March 7, 2014

LAURINBURG — Those living within Laurinburg’s city limits will get the chance to provide direct input into the city’s multifarious operations during the city council’s annual public input session on Monday.

The session will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the city council’s meeting chambers. Completely open to the public, the meeting is typically attended by 30 to 50 people.

“We’d like to have the whole city come,” said Mayor Tommy Parker. “This is their single best opportunity to have input into the budget and tell us what they want their city to look like.”

Following a presentation by City Manager Charles Nichols, those attending will divide into groups to confer and brainstorm. Each group will then present its opinions and concerns. Topics will include city beautification, services like trash collection and electricity, roads, development, and zoning.

“Anything that a citizen could dream that the city could participate in is fair game,” Parker said.

Information and ideas gleaned from public participation during Monday’s meeting will be incorporated in the city council’s budgeting process for fiscal year 2014-2015. As a direct result of last year’s input session, the city added $87,000 to its budget for beautification.

“Obviously council has a budget they have to work within, but these forms of input are valuable when the city decides on new programs or how it will alter programs or how it will move forward with the future of the city,” said Parker.

“If it comes up and it has enough support, if it can be worked into the budget for the betterment of the majority of citizens, then it usually happens.”

Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 17. Follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.