BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The Bloomfield Council and Information Technology Department held a public forum this month where residents spoke about their expectations from the Township regarding communications and keeping residents in the know about events happening in town.

The forum, organized by Mayor Michael Venezia, Councilwoman Dr. Wartyna Davis and Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, focused on the way the Township uses platforms like its website, Facebook, and Swift911 to share information. It was attended by all members of the Township Council as well as several department heads.

“The response to the forum was great. From improving our website to launching our online portal where residents can see Council meeting minutes and upcoming agendas, the Township has taken great strides in recent years to make information more accessible,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “The sense we got from resident input was that the municipal website has a ways to go to be more navigable, and information like recycling days needs to be more prominently displayed.”

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At May 14 meeting, short questionnaires were distributed to residents, for their input on what issues they would like the Township to prioritize in communications. That questionnaire is also available online, and must be sent to Town Hall by May 31 to help inform communications strategies.

“I think this forum solidified that our focus needs to be on sharing information better. Many residents use Facebook. For that reason, I am pleased that the Township is in the process of launching a central ‘Bloomfield Township’ Facebook page, to consolidate the information posted on individually managed official pages like the ‘Bloomfield Recreation’ and ‘Bloomfield Public Safety’ so residents can find important information all in one place.” said Councilwoman Dr. Wartyna Davis. “We will also need to understand how residents prefer to get information. Residents should send feedback about their preferences to the council so we can share them with the communications working group.”

Under the direction of the Mayor and Council, the Township is currently working to develop a “Bloomfield Township” application for smartphones, which residents can use to stay up to date about public events and initiatives.

“We are very excited about the ‘Bloomfield Township’ app which will begin development soon, and the launch of a ‘Bloomfield Township’ Facebook page. I strongly encourage all residents to make your voices heard by filling out our brief questionnaire,” said Councilwoman Jenny Mundell. “With resident feedback, I am confident we will be able to make some of these changes before our next community forum, which is planned for the summertime.”