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City of Eagle News

Posted on: July 19, 2019

What does it mean to be a small town in a global world? Idaho and Germany exchange ideas

From Left; Mayor Sven Schrade Schmoelln, Germany, Mayor Stan Ridgeway Eagle, Idaho, Lord Mayor Silvi

What does it mean to be a small town in a global world? Eagle Mayor Stan Ridgeway and Eagle Economic Development Director Robin Collins met with two mayors from Germany this week to talk about their commonalities and learn from one another. 

Sven Schrade, Mayor of Schmoelln, and Silvio Witt, Lord Mayor of Neubrandenburg, talked Mayor Ridgeway about the challenges small towns face, including population and demographic change, sustainability initiatives, and civic engagement. They also exchanged ideas about how cities can spur economic and business growth in their communities. 

Schmoelln and Neubrandenburg were located in East Germany before reunification. The mayors say their towns experienced many years of population decline as people fled to West Germany for greater freedom and opportunity. Now they face a cultural divide between people who were born before the end of the USSR and people born after. 

Mayors Schrade and Witt were visiting Idaho for a leadership and cultural exchange program through Global Ties Idaho. Global Ties Idaho is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing the State of Idaho, its people, industry, and culture with the international community.

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