Participants of the first ever Community Conversations lunch meetings would like to see stronger two-way communication to increase civic engagement within Golden.
Mayor Christina Benty was overjoyed with the turnout of nearly 50 participants, who came to talk about how they would like to be engaged in civic affairs.
“It’s great to see so many people here,” she said at the Columbia Basin Trust sponsored event on Oct. 23.
The participants split up into round tables to discuss the topic at hand, and a final consensus seemed to be that more communication is desired.
Some people were asking for more disclosure prior to council decisions being made. And even though they appreciate the council members who consistently engage in discussion, they would like to hear a bigger variety of voices from council and Town staff.
Facebook was identified by several tables as a means of communication. Some liked it, and some didn’t, but it does allow for instant communication, and also lets anyone who’s interested to join in on the conversation.
Others were more interested in some type of newsletter format, either through email, or snail mail. However, where the conversation takes place was less important than how it was administered. As long as questions and feedback are getting to the right people, and that these discussions happen before decisions are made, that’s all that matters.
Even though people like face to face communication, the residents in Golden are already kept very busy with various committee meetings, and participants agreed that too many public meetings would probably not be well attended.
One participant requested that council meetings be streamed over the internet, that way people could still be informed of the goings on in the comfort of their own home.
The notes from the meeting are going to be compiled for the Town. The next Community Conversations meeting will be on Nov. 27.