Bridge building was one of the main themes of Cheri Barry's campaign for mayor of Meridian. It was echoed in her inauguration speech in July.
Tuesday she took some steps toward making good on that idea, by reaching out to Newton County.
Barry addressed Newton Rotary Club about the importance of working together, and not just as individual cities but as an entire regional community. That, she says, is the key to building the area and making improvements.
"With all these municipalities, ours is the largest," Barry said. "We've got some wonderful, small municipalities that will be working under us and with us in an effort to better serve their communities."
The mayors from Newton, Decatur, and Union were all present, and say they share similar views with Barry. A common theme was mentioned by all mayors.
"I've got the same beliefs that Mayor Barry has, that we are much stronger as a regional cooperative working together to try, whether it be economic development or tourism or whatever," said Decatur Mayor Randy Rushing.
"I believe that when you have the numbers, not just one, I believe if we carried something to Jackson with Meridian, Decatur, Union and whoever else, I believe it would have better success," said Union Mayor Wayne Welch.
"Meridian, being the big kid on the block, we look up to Meridian. She just looked like she wanted to help us, and there are a lot of things that they can do that we can't," said Newton Mayor David Carr. "We can look at their expertise and I'm just excited the chance to work with Meridian and Newton County."
Barry has talked about partnerships and working together since campaigning for mayor. She said those partnerships don't have to stop at the Meridian city limits.