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home : opinions : opinions February 5, 2016

1/28/2014 12:51:00 PM
Sisters City Council reaching out to Sisters community
By Mayor Brad Boyd, Council President McKibben Womack, Councilor David Asson and Councilor Wendy Holzman

On Friday, January 17, the Sisters City Council gathered for our annual goal-setting session. The council unanimously had set five overarching goals to provide direction and vision for this council.

The adopted five goals are:

1. Strengthen city finances;

2. Increase community and private-sector asset base;

3. Encourage economic development;

4. Improve connectivity;

5. Improve public outreach.

During last year's goal-setting session, more than twice the numbers of goals were created. However, a realization was made that many of the goals could be placed under one or more overarching goals, turning them into "tasks" to achieve the higher goal.

As we pursue these goals there needs to be an implied understanding that we need to maintain Sisters' unique character and attractiveness. Without this we will become just another town in the USA that people pass through.

One of the overarching goals that is high on the council's agenda is to improve public outreach. Throughout the previous year, the council has said that we want to talk to people, to hear the issues, and to dialog with the citizens that we represent. So again we set this as a priority, one that will surely benefit this council/town relationship as well as those to come.

Since the birth of this nation there has been a fundamental duty of those elected by the people to inform the people. With that there is also a fundamental obligation of the people to make efforts to be informed. Thus a governing body "Of, By and For the People." We will be endeavoring to achieve our duty to inform the people, as well as providing ways for the people to fulfill their obligation to be informed through a number of new and existing opportunities.

Residents and business owners receiving monthly utility statements will receive a newsletter insert containing a letter from the city council and highlights from the city staff. This insert will also be made available on our website and to the media for publication. Council President Womack's regular town hall meetings will continue to be hosted by Hop N Bean on the second Tuesday of each month. Quarterly town hall meetings will be planned in a few of our outlying neighborhoods and developments. They will include representatives from other governing bodies as well as those running for office.

The council will also be creating an email list for those who wish to receive regular updates from the city and council.

With these opportunities we will endeavor to communicate, hear, and understand the people we represent. However if we the council fail to inform the people and the people fail to make efforts to be informed, the governing body will be in isolation. It will have no understanding of the people. Improving public outreach is and will always be a two-way street. There is no place for chance spectators, onlookers and those who will critique without getting involved. True, it is easier to sit on the sidelines and critique the plays after the fact. It is easier to read the headlines and respond with cynicism and cry foul.

Far better to be involved and informed.

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