"We've been trying to get this type of meeting for the last 19 years to be honest with you," said Doctor Charles Coleman.
Dr. Coleman has called north Jonesboro home for years. He says he's seen some improvements to the area over time, but not as many as he'd like.
"We have a list here of a lot of things that we think need to happen in the community," said Dr. Coleman.
Dr. Coleman says his biggest concerns are flooding issues and the lack of businesses moving into north Jonesboro in particular.
"I want to be optimistic about this meeting, but at the same time until I see something physically happen, I'm going to be pushing and this community is going to be pushing," said Dr. Coleman.
Concerns he says he and others want addressed. He's hopeful this community meeting is a step in the right direction.
"We're going to listen to the people's concerns," said Perrin.
Thursday night's meeting is the first of six community meetings to be held throughout the city of Jonesboro--a different meeting for each ward. A chance for city leaders to share plans and ideas for the future, and also a chance to hear from the people they serve.
"As they talk, then we'll make notes on that and we'll come back and say hey this is what was said then let's analyze that," said Perrin.
Mayor Perrin says the different wards have different issues or concerns--thus the reason for a meeting for all of them. An opportunity he says to address a wide range of issues.
"The only way that you can get better or become more efficient is to know that you have an opportunity for improvement," said Perrin.
Many at Thursday night's meeting said that opportunity for improvement starts now.
"You've got to start somewhere--as they say, you've got to crawl before you can walk," said Ward 2 resident Carolyn Sheppard.
"I absolutely believe this is a step in the right direction," said Dr. Coleman.
March 18th--Huntington Building
March 25th--Central Fire Station
April 1st--Fire Station 2
April 8th--Earl Bell Community Center
April 15--Fire Station 3
The meetings start at 6 and all are open to the public.