PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Perry residents attended a luncheon Thursday where they got the chance to ask leaders questions about the future of the city.
Every seat was filled for the 2012 State of the Community Luncheon. People filed their plates with food and sat back to listen to local leaders answer the communities' questions.
"I think a lot of the questions that was asked were things that were on peoples minds," Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said.
Panelists included Stalnaker, Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth, Houston County School Superintendent Dr. Robin Hines, and new panelists Perry Economic Development Coordinator Mary Beth Bass and President & CEO of the 21st Century Partnership General Bob McMahon. Former State Representative Larry Walker moderated the luncheon.
A major talking point during the day was Robins Air Force Base. The $4.5 million economic engine plays a huge role in the community and General McMahon says we need to support it.
"And work together to do the things we need to do to keep it as effective as it is today and as viable as it is today," he said.
Other hot topics included bringing more young people and businesses to the city, making Perry a destination place, and all the major transportation improvements, thanks to the county SPLOST. But the big question on everyone's mind: what is Perry's future?
"My number one vision for the city of Perry is to ensure that the services and the quality of life that we enjoy today remains so and solid, not only the near term but long term," Mayor Faircloth said.
And that's a goal local leaders plan to tackle in 2013 and the years to come.
Panelists also addressed the much talked-about fiscal cliff. They believe whether it's a tax hike or defense cuts at the base, the area will be impacted. They want everybody to do their research and learn more.