FLORENCE, Ala. — Race relations, the presidential election, and building community were just a few of the topics addressed in what Rotary Club President Pete Key said was a necessary conversation.
Key is known in Florence for his “Lunch with the Keys” program that aims to inspire young people to turn their lives around.
As a conversationalist, Key understands the importance of communication. It’s what led him to bring together Tuscumbia Mayor Kerry Underwood, Florence Mayor Andy Betterton, Sheffield Mayor Steve Stanley, and Muscle Shoals Mayor Mike Lockhart.
“I think that leadership is key right now,” Key said. “I mentioned it earlier; leadership, faith, and hope, you got to have leadership; someone has to take the lead.”
Key said normally, rotary meetings will have one guest speaker who talks on a varying topic, but having all four mayors share their visions for their respective cities is a unique experience.
“We wanted to have them here to continue to share what their visions were for their city and then how could we help them and how could they help us in return also,” Key said.
Issues like the Confederate monument in Florence and divisiveness across the United States were discussed during the forum but also progress seen across the Shoals area.
“Locally, we have an opportunity to change that narrative by coming together as one and to bring all four mayors here together, that’s what we wanted to do,” Key said. “We wanted to kind of plant that seed that we are better together, and we can do more together than we can do apart.