Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn made a presentation outlining Laurens’ recent successes to mayors from across the state in Charleston on Thursday as part of the Riley Mayor’s Design Fellowship.
Senn addressed the mayors selected as the 2023 class of Riley Fellows and share the challenges and success which the city of Laurens has experienced since he himself participated as a fellow in early 2020.
“It is truly a great honor to be asked to come back, but this time sharing the story of our progress,” said Senn. “I believe being asked to share our experience with other mayors is a testament to just how far we have come in such a short amount of time, and I am proud that Laurens is recognized as helping to set the standard in this state for responsible, sustainable growth.”
The Riley Fellowship is named for the City of Charleston’s former mayor, Joseph P. Riley, who served from 1976-2016. After leaving office, Riley founded the Mayor’s Institute for City Design and Riley Mayor’s Design Fellowship, both of which serve to equip local leaders across the state of South Carolina and the United States with
collaborative input from planning professionals, scholars, graduate students, non-profit organizations, and other elected officials to help address the individual challenges affecting their cities.
This year, the mayors selected as the new class of fellows are Mayor Stephen Murray of Beaufort, Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin of Florence, Mayor Quendolyn Etheridge of Ridge Spring, Mayor Rockey Burgess of Williamston, and Mayor Mike Fuesser of York.
In addition to the 2023 Fellows’ presentations, these mayors also heard from speakers who may serve as resources and are respected as leaders in their fields. Laurens’ recent successes using planning and design as an effective tool for economic development is widely recognized and celebrated across the state of South Carolina, so Senn
was asked to share his experiences with his fellow mayors as they seek to implement similar strategies for growth and community development.
“I can honestly say that many of the positive changes we see in the city today are a result of lessons I learned as a fellow in this program,” said Senn. “Mayor Riley and I share the same belief that the things we build today, whether it be parks or neighborhoods, should pass the 50-year test, and if possible, the 150-year test. We want a city that the next generation is just as proud of tomorrow as we are of our home today.”