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Jackson County Supervisors Travel to Jackson County, Minnesota to Say Thanks
From: Ken Flannigan   Jackson County PIO    Filed 11/3/07 GCN

“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” this classic movie quote might be the best way to summarize the Board’s recent trip to Jackson County, Minnesota.

“We went to Minnesota just to express our deep appreciation for their generosity following Hurricane Katrina but we left with a relationship,” Tim Broussard, 2007 board president said. “It was one of the most fulfilling trips I’ve taken as a Board member.”

The Board traveled to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” to personally thank its residents for donating more than $30,000 in Hurricane Katrina relief funds to Jackson County, Miss. employees.

Those relief funds were divided among 200 employees with post-Katrina needs. To show their appreciation, the County organized a large group photo and invited each employee to sign a large “Thanks Y’all” banner.
The banner, along with a huge framed photo of the group, was hand delivered by Broussard along with Supervisors John McKay and Robert R. Norvel, Sr. to the Board of Commissioners in Jackson County, Minn. on Oct. 10.

Jackson County, Minn. has a population about the size of the City of Pascagoula and is located 1,200 miles north of the Gulf Coast. It’s County Coordinator Jan Fransen, said she was “overwhelmed” by Mississippi’s gratitude.

“What our employees did was genuinely something we wanted to do to help.  It meant a great deal to our employees and community members for the Board (Miss.) to come here and say ‘thank you’ in person,” Fransen said.

Following the banner presentation, Supervisors were surprised to receive an additional $1,500 check from the United Fund of Jackson County, Minn. for continued hurricane recovery.

“The trip reaffirmed to me the value of having relationships with other county governments,” Supervisor John McKay explains. “Their system of government is slightly different from ours but our goals are the same. We had several good discussions about those differences and came away with new perspectives.”

The Board plans to build on this new friendship by first keeping the lines of communication open between the two counties. Supervisors also hope to start a new high school or community college student exchange program.

“One natural educational exchange would be in fuel production. We are home to one of the largest oil and gas manufactures in the USA. Jackson County, Minn. is home to a large and growing liquid ethanol manufacturing plant. Both of our counties are influencing the nation’s fuel supply,” McKay said.

Supervisors also visited with local businesses and had a breakfast meeting with dozens of Jackson County, Minn. employees.

“They really wanted a Katrina update on conditions in South Mississippi. We talked to them about our accomplishments and remaining challenges. Meeting with the employees was a highlight for me,” Broussard said.

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