A Visit from the Mayor

“A lot of your problems are your opportunities.” On Monday evening we met with the mayor of Williamson, Darrin McCormick. He spoke at length about the issues apparent in Williamson around the integration of sustainable resources into the economy. In the Williamson area, coal is essentially the entire economy. The coal industry has been highly politicized. What many people don’t realize is that Mingo county has already lost one third of its population. If coal were to simply disappear then so would the town if Williamson. “People can sometimes be opposed to things without a full understanding of all if the issues around jobs and the livelihood of the community” said Mayor McCormick. The transition to sustainability will take a long time and require cooperation from all sides. It is taking some effort to teach the local population that sustainability does not mean that the “green” side is winning out over coal. Everyone needs to come to the meetings and workshops and learn how to diversify the town and county’s portfolio of energy consumption and economic models. The consensus needs to be on new efficiencies, new revenue sources. Sustainable Williamson is just one piece to this puzzle. Mayor McCormick has a tough job ahead but seems to be the right person to take it on.

Location:Williamson, WV

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