A mayor from north Fulton County is one of seven from the United States invited to the 32nd International Mayor’s Conference.
Next week, Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul will fly to Israel to speak at the conference that includes 32 mayors from around the world. The invitation was extended to Paul by the Israeli government, the American Council for World Jewry at the Israeli consulate to the Southeast, which is based in Atlanta.
The Israeli government is covering the cost of Paul’s trip except for airfare and one additional night’s stay in the Western Galilee cluster where Paul will meet with mayors from sister cities to Sandy Springs. In total, Paul’s trip will cost the city $1,609.
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Paul said he also plans to use this trip to advocate for the Israeli consulate to the southeast. The Atlanta Jewish Times reported that the fate of the consulate, which is based in Midtown, is “up in the air” after an approved spending plan called for the closure of seven Israeli diplomatic missions.
“We’ve had a marvelous working relationship with that consulate. If I get a chance, I want to weigh in and ask them to reconsider that decision,” Paul said at Tuesday’s city council meeting. “I’m just one lonely little mayor of a medium sized American city, but as I’ve told you many times, I’m also one of the few mayors with his own foreign policy, so I’ll do what I can to negotiate.”
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The conference is in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and lasts from Feb. 11 to 16. Tech, energy, urban development and start-ups are among the topics that will be discussed, according to the website for the conference.
The Western Galilee cluster that Paul will visit after speaking at the conference is made up of 12 authorities, but under one government that has a sister city relationship with Sandy Springs. Paul last visited them during his first term as mayor in 2015.
“It’s kind of neat how Sandy Springs gets recognized,” Paul said. “I’m absolutely delighted to represent our city.”
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