Inaugural Aiken Municipal Forum set for Feb. 7 at Aiken County Government Center
The inaugural Aiken County Municipal Forum will be an opportunity to hear what is on the minds of a number of local elected officials.
The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday in Aiken County Council Chambers on the third floor of the Aiken County Government Center.
Following the forum will be a reception, sponsored by the Aiken Standard. It will begin at 7 p.m. in the Sandlapper Room on the first floor of the Government Center.
The forum and the reception will be free and open to the public.
County Council Chairman Gary Bunker is organizing the forum with the help of county staff members.
“I’ve had over a year in office as chairman, and one thing I’ve noticed is there is very little formal communication between the county and the cities and towns within the county,” Bunker said.
Mayors of 10 county municipalities have been invited to the forum. Those municipalities are Aiken, Burnettown, Jackson, Monetta, New Ellenton, North Augusta, Perry, Salley, Wagener and Windsor.
“I will make some opening remarks regarding the county and the cities and towns within the county,” Bunker said.
Then each mayor in attendance will speak.
“We are planning to give each of them three to five minutes to discuss their plans for the year and major issues that they’re facing,” Bunker said. “We want to open up some discussion about their wants and needs.”
In addition, S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, will speak on behalf of the Aiken County Legislative Delegation about “issues in Columbia,” Bunker said, that could have an impact locally.
Also on the forum program will be Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt, who will discuss aspects of law enforcement involving the municipalities and the county.
“Our plan is to continue the discussion of topics raised during the forum in a more informal setting during the reception,” Bunker said.
Others invited to the forum include all County Council members, all members of the County Legislative Delegation and other elected officials from the municipalities in addition to the mayors.
“This is the first time we’ve tried something like this, but so far, the interest I’ve received from the mayors has been very high,” Bunker said. “There was quite a bit of enthusiasm when I called them and broached the idea.”
The County Government Center is at 1930 University Parkway in Aiken.
Want to go?
WHAT: Aiken County Municipal Forum
WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: County Council Chambers in the Aiken County Government Center, 1930 University Parkway