Community in spotlight Thursday at Capitol

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Brookhaven and Lincoln County officials will gather at theLegislature in Jackson Thursday for the annual Brookhaven Day atthe Capitol, a chance for local officials to see – and be seen – bystate lawmakers.

“It’s basically a public relations event for our legislators,”said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield. “It’s a chance for us to highlightBrookhaven and Lincoln County.”

Local officials will promote two aspects of the home turf inparticular – the Linbrook Business Park and the Mississippi Schoolof the Arts.

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“We want to let them know that Linbrook is the premier area forindustrial expansion in Mississippi south of Interstate 20,”Brumfield said.

“And we want to point out that MSA is a school that serves allof Mississippi, not just Brookhaven,” he continued. “It serves theentire state, and we need the entire state to stand behind it andmake sure it gets the funding it needs to continue growing.”

Local officials will set up a table on the first floor of therotunda and stand by to meet and greet state legislators as theyarrive at the Capitol. A buffet breakfast will be served at 9 a.m.,and lawmakers who visit the table will have a chance to registerfor a give-away item, a Nintendo DS hand-held gaming system – oneeach will be presented to a senator and representative.

Students from MSA will also be on hand, showcasing pieces oftheir artwork and singing at 11 a.m.

While MSA and Linbrook are the two main points local officialswish to drive home, they will also speak about some of the otherqualities of Brookhaven and Lincoln County, such as the educationalsystems, medical community and the downtown area, both business andresidential.

“There’s a good plan happening – we have a lot of good things tosay to the legislators,” said Bill Sones, chairman of theIndustrial Development Foundation. “We’ll be promoting our qualityof life here. We now have over 50 residential housing units indowntown. Oxford really doesn’t have anything onBrookhaven.

Sones said the new local slogan, “A Little Haven on Earth,” willbe featured on marketing posters that will be displayed at theCapitol.

“We’re trying to show them why that’s true,” he said.

Despite all the preparation that goes into Brookhaven Day at theCapitol, Sones said local officials are not seeking an immediateresponse.

“We aren’t really looking to hear anything back from them – thisis more of a long-term effort,” he said. “We just want to presentBrookhaven to them and portray a good image of our community; justlet them know, ‘Hey, we’re ready for business down here.'”