CAIRO — Mayor Booker Gainor has announced that he is launching a special committee that would allow residents to present solutions to local elected officials.

Gainor said the purpose of the Community Action Committee would be to provide "clear, useful and solution-based information on policies and programs for our local government."

"A lot of people feel as though they want to help the community, but they do not want to be elected officials," the mayor said. "This is just a way to bring those people to the table, get these great ideas, get some research behind it and find something that you can present to the council that can be implemented throughout the community."

The mayor's announcement was made near the end of Monday night's city council meeting.

Monthly meetings will be open for all residents to bring ideas to a community brainstorming session. The group's objective would be to examine issues throughout the community and come up with solutions that could then be pitched to the Cairo City Council.

"Someone may know of a federal or a state grant that's available for the community that otherwise no one would know unless you work in that profession," Gainor said. "People in the mental health field may see different ways we can combat and help mental issues that we would otherwise miss on the city level. There are some ways people can be helpful by pitching these ideas and make our community even greater."

There are no prerequisites for joining the committee, and Gainor said there is only one real guideline.

"If you're going to bring an issue, it must be attached with a solution," he said.

Gainor said that numerous people often reach out to him with good ideas, but there is no place for them to receive group feedback. The mayor said the community is filled with people with different gifts and knowledge, but that many residents often aren't engaged because there is no forum for them to adequately share their expertise.

If the group is successful, Gainor figures it may be the incubator for future generations of city leaders.

The committee's first meeting may take place before the end of the year. Gainor said he will have more information regarding the committee's meeting times in the coming weeks.

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