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International group comes to El Paso for local government training

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Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 11:15pm

An international group made up of city leaders worldwide chose El Paso to host a special event.
The group called the International City and County Management Association is the leading organization for professional local government leaders and Thursday Joyce Wilson and Mayor John Cook welcomed the out-of-towners to our city.

The idea is to take a few notes, go through trainings, but also to bounce ideas off each other on city managing.

It took Stephen Parry twenty four hours to get to the borderland from New Zealand.

"The world is quite small really and being a small country, we need to actually reach out and learn from others," said Parry.

Gina Anderson-Ford came from D.C..

"It's a small town but just the warmth and the hospitality. I've found that everybody that leaves El Paso usually comes back," said Anderson-Ford.

But its not all work without play. She's got her eye out for an upgrade to her cowboy boots.

"I'm gonna try. I heard you have amazing, the biggest and the best (boots) so I'm gonna try and see if I can find anything better than these,” said Anderson-Ford.

City Manager Joyce Wilson, a member of the international group, says she is excited to host because the out-of-towners get a first hand experience of one of the largest cities to ever change to a council/manager form of government.

"We have a great story to tell.We have a wonderful city to view. The night lights here, look out the window, they're gorgeous. Tomorrow we're gonna take them on a tour," said Wilson.

The city voted in the city manager position in 2005 right before Mayor John Cook took office.

"More and more people want to see what it's about, to see what the city's like especially having 3 years in a row of being found the safest largest city in the U.S..," said Cook.

ICMA has 9,000 members worldwide. Its goal is to provide support and professional training to city and county experts.

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