Every year city mayors from across the nation meet to discuss mutual problems and challenges facing the nation at the 77th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Providence, RI.
This year in attendance was Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley and he says the main focus was the stimulus package.
“We are facing the challenges that every city is facing, and that is successfully dealing with the economy. It’s one of the reasons we worked very hard on the stimulus package to get resources to our community. We’ve got a number of grant applications in, we hope to get approval,” says Riley.
For the city of Charleston, Riley says restoration projects, draining initiatives, a new community center and many more projects in the city that are all stimulus funded, will help in creating jobs.
“Job creation is on the top of everyone’s list because every mayor has seen their unemployment rates go up, and so for all of us to get our people back to work, and that’s why the stimulus is so important because for every dollar you get to invest, whether it’s to a drainage project or whether it’s for law enforcement, you’re bringing money to the community, you’re hiring people,” says Riley.
And some of those hires could come from creating “green” jobs.
“On sustainability, we have a mayor’s green committee in Charleston that we are working very hard on to find ways to make Charleston a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, so I know we will learn a lot from that,” says Riley.
Mayors Joseph McElveen of Sumter and Bobby Horton of West Columbia also attended the meeting. The conference ended Monday.
Photo courtesy of Mayor Riley’s office.