The citizen commission that Mayor Gene Hobgood and the Canton City Council hopes can lay out a clear long-term vision for economic development in a city criticised for a "lack of vision" will receive its swearing-in during the council's regular meeting Thursday evening.
Hobgood called for the creation of the Commission on Canton's Future in his state of the city address on Feb. 7,
During his Feb. 7 address, Hobgood described his thoughts on the balancing act the commission would need to perform between fiscal responsibility and marked improvements to Canton which would make the city a banner destination for businesses and new residents.
The 21-member commission will be tasked with developing a long-term roadmap for Canton which will extend to the year 2050, with shorter-term goals that the council can use as benchmarks for progress.
Each city council member picked three citizens who they felt should serve on the commission, along with three appointees chosen by Hobgood. The assembly will be sworn in during the early minutes of Thursday's meeting at City Hall.
The inaugural members of the Commission on Canton's Future are as follows:
Chosen by Councilman Cummins: Corey Wilson, Jennifer Dunn, and John Rust
Chosen by Councilman Bryan: Ben Key, Jori Mullins, and Odie Galt
Chosen by Councilman Goodwin: Andy Alexander, Ken Roberts, and Clinton Weatherby
Chosen by Councilman Rush: George Connor, Rodney Stevenson, and Jose Ayala
Chosen by Councilman Huffman: Kandace Walker Bunda, Bill Henry, and Ned Castleberry
Chosen by Councilman Beresford: Clay Cowey, Jennifer Wyatt, and Tim McCratic
Chosen by Mayor Hobgood: Dennis Burnette, Bill Grant, and Nell McGruder
Other business the city council will attend to includes the question of what to do about fire services in Canton after the failure of the fire bond referendum on Tuesday.
Councilman Glen Cummins is expected to discuss alternate methods of providing adequate fire services to the city, which may include consolidating with Cherokee County's fire department. Councilman Bob Rush will be bringing forward a motion on fire department funding that may go to a vote at the meeting tonight.
Councilman John Beresford will introduce a motion that will direct city employees to begin constructing a trail that would link Boling Park and Heritage Park along the Etowah River. .
For the complete content of Thursday's meeting, please see the agenda attached to this article.
Thursday evening's meeting will begin at 6 in council chambers at City Hall. If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, Canton-Sixes Patch will be providing a live stream of the proceedings.