We are excited to announce that City Summit is going virtual! We asked our President, Councilman Joe Buscaino; First Vice President, Councilmember Kathy Maness; and Second Vice President, Mayor Vince Williams to reflect on past conferences and to look forward to the new and reimagined virtual City Summit 2020.
Q: How many City Summits have you attended?
JB: I have attended 8 City Summits.
KM: I have attended 16 City Summits I was elected to Lexington Town Council in November of 2004 and attended my first Summit one month later in Charlotte, NC.
Q: Favorite City Summit memory?
JB: My favorite City Summit memory was last year’s Beach Boys concert—what a great party! On a more serious note—the honor of being elected President of the National League of Cities by my peers was humbling and forever stamped on my heart. This has been a challenging time for local leaders, and NLC has proven its ability to be nimble and help us respond. I am proud to have been able to participate in engagement calls with our members and to see how our Councils have responded. While I will miss not seeing many of my friends in person, I am excited that I will still get to engage with so many – one of the highlights of attending City Summit every year.
KM: My favorite City Summit memory is always seeing elected officials and the friends I have made from all over the country- especially my WIMG sisters. WIMG has also been one of my favorite groups to engage with at City Sumit. Every year I attend their luncheon and last year was so honored to be presented the Leadership Award – that was very special.
VW: It’s hard to pick just one favorite memory but being elected Second Vice President by my peers last year was extremely humbling and I look forward to the future with NLC. I’m also proud to serve on the NLC Board of Directors, Board Finance Committee, Executive Committee and as an NLC University Leadership Fellow. I had the privilege this year of being elected the first vice president of the Georgia Municipal Association.
Q: What did you learn from another city that you were able to implement back home?
JB: Mesa, Arizona presented on how their city had a Nurse Practitioner embedded with their fire department which now the City of Los Angeles has as well. We are now even piloting having doctors in our 911 call centers.
KM: I learned about TIF‘s, the Service Line Warranty Program and the Prescription Drug Card Savings Program that I took back for the citizens in the Town of Lexington. It is so amazing to be able to take these services and programs back to my hometown and improve the lives of my residents.
Q: What’s a key takeaway you got from (any) speaker at a previous City Summit?
JB: As my parents continue to age in place, I have been thinking more and more about Maria Shriver’s call to look after our seniors both in health, caregiving, and housing. I think everyone across the country is starting to face significant challenges on all three of these fronts, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the needs of our seniors needs to be a number one priority from Congress to local governments.
Q: With City Summit being virtual, what are you looking forward to most?
JB: With the new virtual format, I’m looking forward to the accessibility of the workshops, guest speakers, and networking! I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my friends and peers after a few long, difficult months.
VW: Networking with peers, State Leagues and NLC’s corporate partners is always what I look forward to most at City Summit. I am looking forward to being able to interact with all these groups virtually from home. It’s more important than ever that we come together as local leaders and learn and grow from each other.