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Auburn mayor wins WIMG Leadership Award.

Linda Blechinger, mayor, Auburn, Ga., is the proud recipient of this year's Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) Leadership Award, which was presented at the Congress of Cities & Exposition in Phoenix. The leadership award recognizes and honors individual female achievement in local government and strives to promote and encourage more women to run for elected municipal office.

The award was presented to Mayor Blechinger during the WIMG Membership Meeting and Leadership Award Luncheon on Friday, November 11.

Since being elected mayor of Auburn in 2008, Blechinger has forged a strong relationship with her community and has assisted in die creation of Shackelford Park, the Children's Playground, the new Auburn Ball Fields and the Great Rail Trail.

She also has partnered with Lanier Technical College in an effort to provide her constituents with GED classes free of charge and has instituted the Auburn O.W.L.S. (older, wiser, laughing seniors), a senior citizen group that averages 50 participants in its meetings.

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During the luncheon, all award finalists were recognized for their dedication to their communities and for being model public servants. Dr. Gloria H. Cuadraz, Associate Professor of Sociology at Arizona State University, delivered the luncheon's keynote address.

The sponsors of this year's WIMG Leadership Award Luncheon were NLC Corporate Partners ICMA-RC, Wells Fargo, Comcast and Cigna.

WIMG outgoing President Adrienne Foster, mayor, Roeland Park, Kan., and newly elected President Kathy Maness, councilwoman, Lexington, S.C., presided over the WIMG events at the conference, including the membership meeting and leadership award luncheon.

President Maness is working on plans to host the WIMG Annual Summer Conference next year in Charleston, S.C., with a date to be set for early May. More information will be available soon regarding conference registration and hotel accommodation details.

She stated, "AS current president of Women in Municipal Government, I know the importance of being involved in this great organization. AS women, it is our civic duty to ensure that we have an equal voice in the role of government. WIMG affords each of us the opportunity to expand our knowledge of local governments, programs, funding, implementation processes and the impact that our community and children face. I would encourage all of our fellow sisters in municipal government to join us in the movement to strengthen our country one step at a time."

WIMG also acknowledged host city leaders Commissioner Sandra Kennedy of the Arizona Corporation Commission and Diane Enos, President, Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community at the Joint Constituency Group Reception cosponsored with fellow NLC constituency groups Hispanic Elected Local Officials and Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials.

In addition to President Maness, the WIMG officers are: Mary Brown, Councilwoman, Gary, Ind. (first vice president); Mildred Crump, Councilwoman, Newark, N.J. (second vice president); Mary McComber, Councilwoman, Oak Park Heights, Minn. (communications officer) and Adrienne Foster, Mayor, Roeland Park, Kan. (immediate past president).

At large members are: Margaret Ann Bailey, Mayor, Clarksburg, W.Va.; Gloria Chavez, Mayor, Tijeras, N.M.; Mary Connor, Councilwoman, Monroe, Mich.; Jeanne Harris, Councilmember, Vancouver, Wash.; Dina Higgins, Councilwoman, Mesa, Ariz.; Helen Kawagoe, City Clerk, Carson, Calif.; Patsy Kinsey, Councilwoman, Charlotte, N.C.; Dot LaMarche, Vice Mayor, Farragut, Tenn.; Sarah Levison, Councilwoman, Longmont, Colo.; Julie Ruiz-Raber, Mayor Pro Tem, Carson, Calif.; Marilyn Sconions-Davis, Councilmember, Eatonville, Fla.; Joyce Sheperd, Mayor Pro Tem, Atlanta, Ga.; Lissa Smith, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Plano, Texas; Evelyn "Mimi" Woodson, Councilmember, Columbus, Ga.; and Maxine Wilson, Mayor Pro Tem, Tijeras, N.M.

WIMG Advisory Council members (past presidents) are: Daisy W. Lynum, Commissioner, Orlando, Fla.; Edna Branch Jackson, Mayor Pro Tem, Savannah, Ga.; Margaret Barrett Simon, Councilwoman, Jackson, Miss.; M. Margaret Bates, Commissioner, Laudethill, Fla.; Marie Lopez Rogers, Mayor, Avondale, Ariz., and NLC First Vice President; Kay Senter, Vice Mayor, Morristown, Tenn. and Marian B. Tasco, Council Majority Leader, Philadelphia.

Details- For information about the 2012 WIMG Leadership Award, please contact Brenda Ramirez at (202) 626-3041 or by e-mail at ramirez@nlc.org. The 2012 nomination deadline is September 30.

For more information about how to join WIMG, contact Marsena Mitchell at (202) 626-3169.
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Author:Ramirez, Brenda
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Nov 21, 2011
Words:677
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