Mayor Damon Welch needs to take a stronger leadership role and tell us where he stands on the proposed interlocal agreement that city, county and Hanover officials are considering.

The intent of the proposed agreement is to facilitate economic development in Jefferson County.

If Welch likes the agreement, he needs to tell us what he likes about it. If he doesn't like the agreement, he needs to explain his concerns. Either way, he must take the lead role as mayor to move the discussion forward to a conclusion on what the city's role - if any - would be if the ILA advances.

It's been a month this week that the final draft of the agreement was made public. Discussion of the ILA has been placed on Tuesday's City Council meeting agenda, and that is the venue Welch should use to make his case and lead a public discussion.

Welch's reply to a citizen's question at the last City Council meeting that he hadn't yet fully reviewed the document was unacceptable.

The proposed interlocal agreement has similar intent to Welch's own earlier attempt to get the city and county working together.

Early on in his administration, Welch advocated a relationship with all of the county's government entities. His proposal didn't pan out, but it was clear that he felt there was merit in such a relationship.

The public forum setting is important. It gives residents and City Council members a chance to ask questions.

The mayor, as the city's chief executive, should lead the discussion.

At next week's council meeting, we expect the mayor to offer his opinion and to take the lead in a discussion that involves the community.