February 12, 2015 | The Texas Side and Arkansas City Government members attended a leadership summit on February 11, 2015 to help the move the cities forward together.
The LIFT Initiative sponsored the summit. LIFT Is the leadership initiative for Texarkana, which is a program of Leadership Texarkana.
“The purpose of the meeting today is to have our two boards and elected officials work together to determine how we can be unified and move forward in our community to work on various projects together for the benefit of both cities,” stated Texas-side Mayor Bob Bruggeman.
First, the consultants would pose a question and then asked the officials to work to together in three different groups to come up with ideas. The officials presented their findings to the audience. The consultants then helped the elected officials cultivate ideas on various topics and provide feedback.
“We are going to be identifying the challenges we have in our community – specifically, things that need to be addressed. We will also talk about things in general terms. First of all, to identify those and foster relationship and tackle those issues for the benefit of the overall community. We will be providing input and the consultants will be nurturing that input and provide us feedback,” stated Texas-side Mayor Bob Bruggeman.
“LIFT sponsored the initial leadership summit in 2013. Since that time, Leadership Texarkana has had a LIFT team that meets monthly to try to continue the momentum. Particularly with the significant with the turnover on the Arkansas Board in November we thought this was the perfect time to bring the boards back together again,” stated Norton.
“When we did this two years ago, the boards had never met. Many of the people that served on the Texas side did not know the Arkansas side, and vice verse. We thought this was a beneficial opportunity. Nothing less, this would be a chance to get to know each other,” stated Norton.
“We have a limited time today to work on these things. With the consultants and LIFT, we are appreciative of the great work that the consultants and LIFT – especially Fred Norton and Ruth Ellen Whitt – have done to bring these two bodies together to work together,” stated Bruggeman.