TAMWORTH’S protracted negotiations to form a sister city relationship with Nashville, Tennessee, will happen – but not overnight.
That’s the word, at least, from Tamworth Regional Council corporate and governance director Robert Charlesworth.
The main delay in the process was physically getting our two mayors together in the one place to sign the protocol, Mr Charlesworth said.
“Councillor Col Murray has been invited there twice – but unfortunately had to cancel his trip on both occasions, due to the rate variation and the timing of the council elections,” Mr Charlesworth said.
“For Cr Murray to go over there, it’s just not an option this year, so we could be looking at June next year, when Nashville has its CMA Festival.”
Mr Charlesworth said the committee had agreed it should happen, due to the country music synergy between the two cities, but cost had been a worrisome factor for some.
Tamworth has four sister cities – Tamworth, England; Sannohe, Japan; Chaoyang, China; and Gore in New Zealand.
The cost factor comes into play with visits to the sister cities, Mr Charlesworth said.
“We have to get people there, and obviously, to fly to Gore is a lot less than to fly to Nashville,” Mr Charlesworth said.
“There’s a two-year turnaround with Gore. Every second year we are invited to their festival and on the alternate year, they come here.
“We’ve never actually done anything with our namesake in England, but if people go over there, we’re more than happy to give them a letter of introduction.
“With Chaoyang and Sannohe, things only happen every four years on a rotational basis, but with Nashville and Tamworth having a country music festival once a year, the costs could be greater.”
Mr Charlesworth said the sister city committee met once a month on a Wednesday, at Ray Walsh House, and had eight to 10 regular participants, including representatives from
“We normally do have the protocols signed by mayors of both cities to formalise the process, but there is still a lot of stuff going on,” Mr Charlesworth said.