Sherryl L. Parks | Kalamath Drive
An all-day retreat for City Council members, new City Manager, Scott Huth, City Attorney, Leslie Devaney and a facilitator, Steve Alexander was held on Monday, March 12. City Councilman Mark Filanc said, “The single most important objective was to improve communication throughout the community and especially between the community and the council.”
With the changes in staffing, primarily a new City Manager, and with the up-coming election offering the Village Specific Plan in November, the retreat was timely. Working together, the Council explored the best ways to open up the discussion with the public about the Village Specific Plan.
“We spent a good deal of time discussing the Village Specific Plan and how best to use the next few months to reach out to everyone in the community, to go over the details proposed in the Plan and to get input on how we can make the Specific Plan better,” reports Councilman Terry Sinnott. Although the topic of the Specific Plan was the most important issue discussed, there were other issues. “We also discussed our legislative goals and next steps towards working with Sacramento to advance our city’s objectives with respect to pending and expected legislation,” cited Mayor Carl Hilliard. Finally the importance of maximizing the time during City Council meetings to encourage more public input was reviewed.
Plans are now in place for Council to meet quarterly to see how the communication, especially between the community and council is going. To help them the Council has asked staff to return with suggestions on how best to use e-communications, surveys, focus groups and workshops to bring neighborhoods into the conversation and help guide the Council.