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Marines host 'focusing on the future' breakfast

MCLB Albany -- The head of the Marine Corps Logistics Command held a breakfast with some of the area's movers and shakers Tuesday in an effort to "keep the lines of communications" open between key USMC personnel and local officials, base officials say.

Maj. Gen. Charles Hudson, the commanding general for LOGCOM, met with the invitation-only group of officials which included Albany Mayor Willie Adams and Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard, Albany-Area Chamber of Commerce President Catherine Glover and State Rep. Carol Fullerton, as well as the heads of the three major Albany media outlets.

According to base public affairs officials, the "focusing on the future" breakfast, is one of a series of informal discussions Hudson is making with local officials to reach out with the community and strengthen ties between LOGCOM and Albany.

"The invitation-only group discussed issues that were already in the press to make sure they were fully understood," MCLB Spokesperson Colie Young said. "It is Maj. Gen. Hudson's desire to meet on an informal and periodic basis on base with local officials in order to keep communications open as our relationship with the local community is very important."

Adams said Tuesday morning that the base is vital to growth in Albany and that local elected leaders reassured Hudson that every tool at their disposal would be used to help the base with its mission.

"They are a vital part of this community and really to this region," Adams said. "There are 4,000 jobs out there that are relying on them and I think we, as elected officials, tried to make it clear that we'd do whatever we could to make sure that they have what they need."

One of those items was discussed by the city commission while Adams was at the breakfast.

The widening of State Road 133 has been on the USMC's wish list for years, as the base looks for an efficient route to Jacksonville, Fla., where equipment is loaded and unloaded.

That widening program will be undertaken from Albany to Valdosta and will be funded through sales tax dollars if the voters approve the 10-year, Transportation Improvement Act regional sales tax initiative next July.