Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jordan mayoral-transition committee sets public-input session for Monday

Northwest Arkansas Times preview of transition team's input session
Transition Committee plans input meetings
BY DUSTIN TRACY Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Sunday, December 28, 2008
Fayetteville's mayorelect wants to know how his administration will best be able to communicate with the city's residents and he's using a series of public meetings to help figure it out.

Monday morning marks the first public hearing for Lioneld Jordan's Transition Committee's subcommittee on communication. The meeting is from 9 a.m. to noon at the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. Walt Eilers, the subcommittee chairman, said Monday's event is mainly for people in the business community and the Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods and will give these groups a chance to drop in and share their thoughts on the best way to have open government.

"We already have 25 people who've RSVP'd," Eilers said Friday. He said an RSVP is not necessary to attend the public hearing.

During Jordan's mayoral campaign he promised transparent and open government to the voters, specifically stating that he wanted to hold four town meetings a year, one in each ward. As a Ward 4 alderman, Jordan and fellow Alderman Shirley Lucas held monthly ward meetings.

Eilers said the subcommittee will be asking individuals what their defini- tion of "open government" is as well as a series of questions about how they'd like to see town hall meetings with the new mayor work.

"Our interest is what should be the best flow of info to and from the mayor," Eilers said.

A week ago the subcommittee met with city staff and city employees to figure out the best way to get suggestions and communicate with the workers. Eilers said they drew the conclusion that employees would like anonymous surveys attached to their pay stubs they could fill out and turn in. That survey goes out Jan. 16.

The group also plans to have a night meeting in each ward for the general public to attend and share suggestions. The dates of these meetings have not been set yet.

Eilers said the subcommittee also decided to take advantage of technology available to it through Community Access Television. On Jan. 13, subcommittee members will host a live broadcast question-and-answer session from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Fayetteville City Council chambers. Eilers said that interested parties who wish to remain anonymous can e-mail or call in questions or suggestions about open, transparent government.

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