The Town Council wants to improve the way the town communicates to the public and a subcommittee in charge of the issue will begin a series of listening meetings with an informational meeting in June.
The Council’s Committee on Media and Public Outreach will be hosting a series of “kitchen table conversations” around town, but first it is recruiting people to host these events, said Town Councilor Tony Palomba.
“Being host is easy,” Palomba said. “You organize a meeting at your home or in a public location for 6-8 neighbors and friends at some point in July, August or early September to discuss a series of questions related to public engagement.”
In particular, the effort is aimed at people who do not ordinarily participate in town government, Palomba said.
“The purpose would be to identify strengths, talk about current opportunities for public engagement and recommend,” Palomba said.
Some of the questions that may be discuss include:
a) How do you get information about what is happening in Town government and in the community?
b) Are there other ways you think would be more effective?
c) Would you like to be more involved in Town government? Is so, in what capacity?
d) What are your ideas for increasing public engagement with the Town and the community?
The training for people interested in being hosts of the kitchen table meetings will take place at a meeting on Sunday, June 23 from 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Watertown Free Public Library. Refreshments will be served beginning at 2:15 p.m.
In September, after the kitchen table meetings, the results of these conversations will be shared at a public meeting of the Committee on Media and Public Outreach. The results will serve as the foundation for developing policies and practices for Town officials and others, Palomba said.