15 Hope Mills Community RoundtableElected leaders are welcome but politics will not be the focus of a Hope Mills Community Roundtable sponsored by the Hope Mills Chamber of Commerce and Up & Coming Weekly. 

The event is scheduled at Harmony at Hope Mills, 7051 Rockfish Road, on Thursday. A meet and greet time is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m., followed by the roundtable at 7 p.m.

“We are glad to be hosting it with Up & Coming (Weekly) and Harmony of Hope Mills,’’ said Jan Spell, president of the Hope Mills Chamber of Commerce.

Spell called Harmony a wonderful facility that has been good to the chamber. “Now they’re wanting to be good to the residents of our community as well,’’ she said. “We hope that they’ll come out and express their voices so they can be heard, do a little learning and let us learn from them as well.’’

The roundtable will begin with brief presentations by local government leaders and town staff. While all citizens and elected officials are welcome to attend, Spell stressed this is not a political rally and should not be confused with a campaign event on the part of anyone running for office.

“There may be candidates there that the residents want to speak with,’’ she said. “Everyone is welcome to attend. This is an open forum for everyone, not just citywide but countywide too.

“Mostly we’re looking for our citizens to come and join us.’’

In addition to Spell, scheduled speakers include Cumberland County Commissioner Michael Boose and Hope Mills town finance director Drew Holland.

Up & Coming Weekly publisher Bill Bowman said his publication is sponsoring the event to give the people of Hope Mills a chance to learn what the Chamber of Commerce is doing in the community and to bring people up to date on the wonderful things that are going on in Hope Mills.

“The best way to do that is to get everybody together on an informal basis, to have an informal conversation about what they would like to see, what they like about Hope Mills and to meet the movers and shakers of the county and Hope Mills so they can identify people and start developing relationships with the town,’’ he said. 

Like Spell, Bowman stressed the event is not political in nature. “This is for the people,’’ he said. “No political agenda associated with it.’’

Bowman said the response to this first meeting will be gauged, and if it’s successful, future meetings could be held as frequently as quarterly each year. 

“We want to get people used to them,’’ he said. “It should be a lot of fun.’’

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