Sparrow attends conference

By Alyce Malchiodi

DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow got to see the President.

President Bush appeared at this year’s mayoral conference in Washington D.C. from Jan. 23 to 26.

Sparrow said he thought this year’s January mayoral conference was “by far the best.”

He said he was happy Bush joined the mayors at the conference and that it was good to see “the lines of communication open.”

Bush was the first president to attend a mayoral conference since Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

Sparrow said Bush focused on the drug problem in America.

He said President Bush felt most Americans are willing to help and Bush cited a poll showing 60 percent of Americans said they were willing to volunteer five hours a week and donate between $20 to $500 to lower drug abuse.

Sparrow said he plans to try to encourage volunteer services in DeKalb.

DeKalb Police Lt. Richard Moudy said the DeKalb North Central Narcotics Task Force has been a success “in the last couple of years; the more attention the more success.”

The mayoral conference was a great opportunity for several reasons, he said. It was a chance to exchange ideas with mayors around the country and learn what solutions tend to work and which ones do not, Sparrow said.

It was an “opportunity to meet some named politicians” and discuss current issues on all levels, he said.

Sparrow said he talked with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for more than two hours which was exciting, as well as a terrific opportunity.

Sparrow said “Many problems are national” but he said he thinks it has an impact on the local levels. He said he plans to “take a stand” and “lay out some stratigies” to create changes.