I believe that our local government needs to do more to promote civic engagement and in doing so create more transparency into how our government works. To accomplish this, I am proposing that the commissioners do the following:
Host Quarterly Town Hall Meetings
While attending the Board of Commissioners meeting since this past July, I began to ask myself why so few people attend the meetings. After sitting through a few marathon meetings that went past 9pm, it dawned on me. Nobody wants to sit around waiting for the public portion of the meeting to start and then sit some more before being given 5 minutes at the very end of the meeting for public comment.
This is why I am proposing that the Board of Commissioners hold quarterly town hall meetings. These town hall meetings would be informal and would be an open forum for any resident to ask questions or voice their concerns. You would still get 5 minutes to speak, however, it would make it less intimidating being in a more informal setting and you would not have to wait as the entire meeting would be used for public comment.
Our commissioners should directly answer all questions that can be answered at that moment. If some research needs to be done prior to answering a question, the commissioner(s) should address that question at the beginning of the following town hall meeting.
Live Stream the Board of Commissioner Meetings
Today’s technology provides us with a number of options when looking to live stream our meetings such as Facebook Live, YouTube and our Public-Access TV station. Live streaming our meetings would give those that cannot make it to the meeting the ability to tune in as the meeting occurs. Given how connected we are as a society, I believe we would get more people to at least tune in and know what is occurring at the Board of Commissioners meeting.
To learn more about me and my views on the issues Nutley is facing, I encourage you to visit my website and follow me on Facebook and Instagram.