Ox­ford, Por­terdale and the GMA

The Covington News - - LOCAL - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

The City of Ox­ford will be rep­re­sented at a new Ge­or­gia Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion (GMA) Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil, which will help pri­or­i­tize rec­om­men­da­tions made to the GMA and to pro­vide on­go­ing feed­back to the staff on ser­vices needed to help cities op­er­ate more ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter from the GMA to Bob Schwartz, Ox­ford city man­ager.

Schwartz served on three GMA Mem­ber Ser­vices Task Force meet­ings this past year as part of 22 city man­agers, may­ors, city ad­min­is­tra­tors or clerks who dis­cussed ways to pro­vide additional ser­vices through­out Ge­or­gia. Last month, the GMA Board of Di­rec­tors unan­i­mously adopted a rec­om­men­da­tion from the task force to cre­ate the ad­vi­sory coun­cil.

Schwartz said it is an­tic­i­pated the group will meet three to four times a year.

“It’s the real tech­ni­cal stuff about run­ning a govern­ment,” Schwartz said.

Other rec­om­men­da­tions made by the task force in­cluded cre­at­ing more re­gional work­shops to get cities not close to At­lanta to at­tend and en­hanced field ser­vices to pro­vide bet­ter tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to cities.

The task force rec­om­mended on­line work­shops and men­tor­ing pro­grams to help as­sim­i­late newly elected city man­agers and clerks, along with an ori­en­ta­tion pro­gram. It was also rec­om­mended that the GMA cre­ates a for­mal way to sup­port town-gown re­la­tion­ships, which in­volve cities, such as Ox­ford, that have a col­lege.

A peer-to-peer op­er­a­tional re­view was rec­om­mended, where one city’s em­ploy­ees would of­fer ser­vices to neigh­bor­ing cities and vice versa.

“It was cre­ated to pro­vide bet­ter and more re­spon­sive ser­vices to cities around the state,” said Bill Thorn­ton of GMA.

Por­terdale at an­nual con­ven­tion

Por­terdale City Man­ager Bob Thom­son will sit on a panel at GMA’s An­nual Con­ven­tion on June 24 at the Sa­van­nah In­ter­na­tional Trade and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. The panel will dis­cuss fund­ing city projects and pro­grams through grants and loans.

Thom­son said he will talk about Por­terdale’s re­cent suc­cess with its kayak launch, trails pro­gram and gym­na­sium, all of which were funded through out­side grants.

“I think oth­ers who may be new to city man­age­ment or newly elected may be in­ter­ested in hear­ing about it,” Thom­son said.

The panel will go over who to talk to, how to ap­ply for a grant, how long cer­tain grants take and the im­por­tance of get­ting a good de­sign en­gi­neer for a city project.

Thom­son said 58 people will sit on the panel.

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