Two Southside Mayors Travel To White House

Danville, VA - After receiving a call at home from a White House staffer, Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders packed his bags and headed to Capitol Hill.

"They called me and said that all is clear, and can you be here Wednesday for a 3 o'clock meeting," Saunders said.

Saunders and Mayor Kim Adkins of Martinsville took part in a summit on manufacturing. Policymakers wanted to meet with officials from across the country that have used manufacturing to turn their own local economies around.

The President did not attend, but several of his advisors did.

"Federal officials are really trying to work with the local level officials. They were there to listen," said Adkins.

Saunders said it was an opportunity to meet senior staff members that could help advance this area.

"People who specialize in policy, in permitting," Saunders explained.

Saunders hopes that will be the case for the Berry Hill Mega Park, a joint venture with the city and Pittsylvania County that has faced a lot of red tape from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Saunders took a layout of the mega-park with him to Washington to show the officials just what he and his colleagues are trying to accomplish.

Saunders believes it will be the first step to getting this, and other projects off the ground.

"More support, more momentum, from the White House, from Washingtonthat would help us move further along with our progress in our city and our region, " Saunders said.