What the heck do you wear to a Charrette?

'Southern Hospitality' in West Point, Mississippi (home of Brad Smith & Rogers Stevens of Blind Melon) May 2006

My hometown of West Point is holding a charrette on April 12 and everyone is invited.

Say what?  What the heck is a charrette?  At first I thought it was akin to a Hoe Down where you wear your blue jeans and cowboy hats and get down with an old fashioned boot scootin’ boogie.

vfiles25720 But no, this is serious stuff.

A charrette, for you uninformed folks,  is an intensive collaboration of minds involving municipal officials, developers and residents. A successful charrette promotes joint ownership of solutions and attempts to defuse typical confrontational attitudes between residents and developers. Residents who participate get early input into the planning process.

West Point is a little gem of a city which has hit hard times lately with the demise of several large industries and high unemployment rates.  I applaud the idea of tackling their problems head on rather than sitting idly by, twiddling their thumbs.

This effort is being coordinated by the Main Street association which intends to fill up the empty store fronts in its historical CBD and entice more people to get off Highway 45 and visit the old town and its quaint little shops.

Town Sign, West Point, Mississippi (home of Brad Smith & Rogers Stevens of Blind Melon) May 2006 I have a vested interest in the future of The Point. I suspect when I retire from retirement I will return to the city where I grew up and where all my fondest memories are stored up.

It’s a beautiful city – full of old homes and the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

It is also the home of the best golf course in the state – Old Waverly.  Think I’ll get all dressed up and join the charrette. I wonder if there will be a band playing?

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