Officials from the Town of Sumrall are giving residents the opportunity to address needs and concerns outside of regular meetings with a new initiative called What Wards Want Monday.
Throughout the month of October and beyond, residents are encouraged to stop by Sumrall Town Hall on certain Mondays – depending on which ward they live in – to bring those items to the attention of Mayor Joel Lofton and members of the Sumrall Board of Aldermen.
“Whether it be a drainage issue or water or sewer, or any of the services we provide, we want to give them a forum where they can come forward, and we can give them some real attention,” Lofton said. “We can gather some information on the issues that are being faced in our different wards, and come up with a comprehensive plan to manage it, rather than just a hit-and-miss plan where we run around and try to take care of this little problem and that problem.
“We wanted to take it up to three months and compile a list of issues and see if we could tackle them in a more organized, more efficient way.”
To meet with their alderperson and the mayor, residents can visit Sumrall Town Hall from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday nights. Anyone who is unable to visit in person can call (601) 758-3591 or email email@example.com before 4 p.m. to leave a message.
Residents are asked to leave their full name, street address and phone number, and officials will reach out to them as soon as possible.
“Of course, we wouldn’t turn anybody away if they came on the wrong night,” Lofton said. “We’re trying to give every ward equal attention.”
On Oct. 4, officials began with Ward 1, and will start with Ward 2 on Oct. 11. That will be followed with Ward 3 on Oct. 18 and Ward 4 on Oct. 25.
“What we were able to do this past Monday – and I expect this would kind of be a pattern for how we’ll act – we met with some residents initially at town hall,” Lofton said. “When that crowd went away, we actually went out and just did some site visits within that ward, to meet with some folks who weren’t able to come to us, so we went to them.”
Alderwoman-at-Large Brittany Fortenberry will fill in if other members of the Sumrall Board of Aldermen have a scheduling conflict or to lend additional help.
“We understand some folks may not be able to come to us, so we’re willing to come to them,” Lofton said.
So far, the What Wards Want Monday has provided officials with some very positive feedback.
“Folks seem to appreciate the opportunity to come in,” Lofton said. “We’re asking folks, if it’s a drainage issue, and they have pictures and they can help us identify that on this date these things happened, bring documentation.
“It helps us as we identify the root cause, and address the issue. The more documentation we have, the better we’ll be able to address it.”
In the case that officials leave town hall to address issues during What Wards Want Monday, a phone number will be provided on the door. Residents can call the number to leave a message and officials will reach out to them upon their return.