MML President Tim Waldrup, who is mayor of Ellisville, appointed Irwin to chair the committee. In that role, Irwin will lead the MML’s lobbying efforts during the upcoming 2014 session of the Legislature.
It will be another opportunity to talk about his top issue, infrastructure. He was an outspoken proponent of an optional sales tax for cities through a Citizens for Economic Development Act during the last legislative session.
“The pursuit to get income to help cities rebuild infrastructure is going to be at the top of the list,” said Irwin.
While CEDA failed to pass in the 2013 session, Irwin expects another big push for the legislation in the upcoming session.
“Basically, all of the cities in Mississippi are like Corinth — we’ve got to have a way to fix infrastructure,” he said. “People are screaming and crying for paving, and me too. But we just don’t have the money to do a great job on it. If you’ve got a million dollars every year to work on infrastructure, in 10 or 15 years you get the community looking pretty good. I’m not talking about just downtown. I’m talking about all over.”
Irwin will also be on the executive board of the MML, which has advocated for city, town and village governments across the state since 1931. It offers training, lobbying at the state and federal level, and provides resources and networking opportunities with state, federal and private entities.
The MML gave Corinth its top honor last week for the surface water project bringing water to the city from the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.