Citizen Forum

The Citizen Forum had their final meeting to finalize recommendations to City Council on November 17. The Forum will present their recommendations to Council at the December 16, 2014 regular Council meeting.

The City of Salida has formed a Citizen Forum focused on Community Engagement and Public Information.

The following thirteen citizens were appointed to the Forum at the August 19, 2014 City Council meeting:

i. Lezlie Burkley

ii. Gayle Davis

iii. Thomas DeYoung

iv. Sandra Farrell

v. Monika Griesenbeck

vi. Cynda Green

vii. Lee Hart

viii. Mary Elisabeth Hay

ix. Lisa Marvel

x. Mike Rosso

xi. Holly Russell

xii. Daniel Smith

xiii. Forrest Whitman

Delegates met five times for a focused discussion on current and possible approaches to how the City engages and communicates with the public with the intent of providing solutions and recommendations.

The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 28 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the SteamPlant Annex, 220 W. Sackett Ave. The four following meetings were held at the SteamPlant Annex, 220 W. Sackett Ave and were 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Dates are as follows: September 11, 25, October 27 and November 17.

Agenda: Salida Citizen Forum_#1_Aug_28_2014

Notes/Minutes from first meeting: Citizen Forum on Public Information and Community Engagement_minutes_8.28.2014[1]

Agenda 2: Salida Citizen Forum #2 – Agenda

Notes/Minutes from second meeting: Salida Citizen Forum #2 -Notes_Minutes

Agenda 3: Citizen Forum – agenda #3 and supporting document: Citizen Forum – agenda #3.2

Notes/Minutes from third meeting: Citizen Forum_#3_Notes_Minutes

Agenda 4: Citizen Forum – Agenda #4

Notes/Minutes from fourth meeting: Notes_minutes_Citizen Forum #4

Proposed Timeline:

August 28th – Orientation and introductions.

September 11th – Initial, broad discussions. Delegates request additional information that will help form discussion.

September 25th – Staff provides information requested and delegates continue focused discussion. Experts may present.

October 27 – Discussion leads to tangible recommendations and consensus statements.

November 17 – Final meeting wrap up tangible recommendations and consensus statements.

December 16 – Recommendations and presentation to City Council

What is a Citizen Forum?

A citizen forum is comprised of a diverse group of interested citizens typically knowledgeable or experienced in the topic that investigate and discuss a City issue and bring recommendations to City Council.

  • City Council approves delegates by resolution.
  • Sessions are made up of four meetings over a 6-8 week period lasting about 1.5 hours.
  • Since the participants in a citizen forum are not committing for a multi-year obligation, we can diversify the variety of citizens who are willing to participate.
  • Discussion is focused on providing recommendations for the topic at hand.
  • Sessions are led by a facilitator who ensures everyone’s voice is heard and civility is maintained. Staff is in the background and is there to provide information and resources for the delegates.

First Topic: Community Engagement and Public Information

The City often hears about “lack of transparency,” and we would like to gather input from a group of citizens with knowledge in public relations, communication, civic engagement, and journalism regarding ways in which we can better engage and communicate with the public. The City has taken several steps in recent years by utilizing social media, issuing press releases, adding content to the City’s website and creating a YouTube Channel. The City broadcasts the City Council and Planning Commission meetings on Channel 10. We would like to hear from citizens on what we’re doing right and what we can do better.

Possible areas to be explored:

  • Is the City doing everything within its means to actively engage and communicate with the public?
  • What can we do better?
  • What are we doing that we need to maintain or increase?
  • Are we duplicating efforts and not being efficient?
  • Do we need to invest in resources to increase transparency and communication?

For example:

  • Could the City look into programs that allow documents to be easily searchable on the City website?
  • Is the City’s website functioning efficiently?
  • Are we including the information citizens are most interested in?
  • Are there other technologies that could be utilized?
  • Should there be a position dedicated to public information and marketing?
  • Could we utilize Channel 10 more? If so, how?
  • What are the associated costs or savings with more robust communication?