Small Cities Week in Carbondale began Saturday to celebrate the successes of the town and all it has to offer.
Mayor Joel Fritzler announced the occasion June 12 after the National League of cities declared June Small Cities Month and all leaders of small cities were encouraged to participate in order to recognize accomplishments and acknowledge the importance of cities with populations of less than 25,000.
The National League of Cities is an organization that helps cities around the U.S. become more successful with what resources they have available. According to their website, the group provides programs that help city leaders better serve their communities, recognize achievements of cities and partner with state leagues to supplement resources and strengthen the voice of the local government, among other services geared towards assisting towns.
Ted Ellis, president of the National League of Cities, said in a press release it’s important to recognize smaller towns because in harsh economic times all cities must do more with less.
Councilman Chris Wissman said the amount of freshly grown produce, local business and innovation Carbondale has, in consideration of its size, is incredible and residents should take pride in what this town has to offer.
“I was just at the Friday Night Fair buying peaches from a local farmer and that’s pretty awesome. I mean you can go to Kroger or Wal-Mart and get some crappy peaches … or you can go to your neighbor’s peach stand at the local market and buy something that was raised locally,” Wissman said.
Councilman Lee Fronabarger said it’s perfect for Carbondale to have a week like this because it helps show that it not only has many things to offer its own residents, but the state of Illinois as well.
Fronabarger said he encouraged a similar project last year, so the inclusion of Small Cities Week this year is just what Carbondale deserved.
“Small towns and cities contribute a lot to American life, so this will sort of highlight the accomplishments of our town. I tried to push for a similar project last year, but there just wasn’t time,” Fronabarger said.
While there are no set plans for future Small Cities Weeks in Carbondale, Fronabarger said some cities did special projects for the occasion, so in years to come it’s possible more than just a proclamation will be in the works.
Fritzler will make the official proclamation of the Small Cities Week at the city council meeting tonight.