A couple of years ago, as elected officials and city staff were trying to adjust to a new financial reality — as in cutting $1.5 million from last year’s General Fund Budget — I was very focused on communicating with you to explain some tough circumstances. I, along with City Directors, wrote a series of columns and I delivered a State of the City Speech in early 2012 which seemed to do a good job of explaining this reality and penetrate the message.
Although the city produces a quarterly newsletter and I prepare an occasional column for print and online news, my New Years’ Resolution is to communicate with our citizens, community organizations and business community on a more consistent basis. I have given direction to staff and we will follow up in a number of ways, some of them new. As I mentioned in my column two weeks ago, we will have a column every two weeks to The Beacon and My Edmonds News written by me, one of my directors or on occasion, a guest columnist.
Also, the city will host, and I will present, a State of the City Speech a little earlier this year, on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 8:30 a.m., this time at the Edmonds Theater. This event is open to the public, so please put the date on your calendar. Last year we had a full house at the Driftwood Theater and we recorded the speech so others could see and hear the message on the City’s government channel and website.
Following the State of the City Speech, we will conduct quarterly Town Hall Meetings, moving locations around town to more local neighborhood locations. The first meeting will be in the second quarter of the year. The Town Hall setting is a great opportunity for us to communicate directly with the public and a better opportunity for us to hear from you.
A couple of additional points to remember: I have open “Office Hour” meetings on the second and fourth Friday of each month and you can sign up for a meeting time by contacting my office; also, you can receive the city’s quarterly e-newsletter simply by sending your email address to my Executive Assistant, Carolyn LaFave at Carolyn.LaFave@edmondswa.gov and ask that we add you to the list of 9,000-plus who currently subscribe. No additional information is needed!
As we move into the New Year, I wish you well. And as the column heading says, “Let’s Talk” and at the minimum, let’s stay in touch.
— By Dave Earling