September 17, 2010

Media Advisory -- Mayors, Legislators to Meet

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover a group discussion involving Southern Illinois legislators and members of the Southern Illinois Mayors Association set for next week at the Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center in Whittington.

The panel discussion begins at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 22, in the resort’s Great Room. Charles W. Leonard, a visiting professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute’s polling initiatives, is moderator.

Illinois’ budget woes and the Freedom of Information Act will be among the issues discussed, said Nathan McKenna, organization secretariat. Additional concerns likely to be discussed include the motor fuel tax fund and pension funds.

The mayors association represents 112 communities in an area south of Interstate 70 to Alexander and Massac counties, excluding the Metro East area. In addition to organization members, fellow city council members, administrative staff, and respective board members are also encouraged to attend.

After legislators address the organization for about an hour, local officials will be able to speak with their state senator and state representative to discuss concerns specific to their community or county. Organizers expect that will happen at about 7:15 p.m.

State senators invited are Gary Forby, D-Benton; David Luechtefeld, R-Okawville; Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon; and John O. Jones, R-Mount Vernon. State representatives invited are Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg; John Bradley, D-Marion; Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro; John Cavaletto, R-Salem; Roger L. Eddy, R-Hutsonville; David Reis, R-Sainte Marie; Dan Reitz, D-Steeleville; and Ron Stephens, R-Greenville.

Media availability with elected officials is likely prior to the open discussion session, and also prior to when legislators and local leaders meet.

For more information, contact Centralia Mayor Becky Ault, president of the Southern Illinois Mayors Association, at 618/292-4793 or by email at