This coming Saturday will feature the very first “A Walk in the Park with City Council“. It will be from 8am until 10am on Saturday, May 30th, at the James Grey Preserve.
The Preserve is on Plathe Road. The easiest way to get to it is by taking Louisiana Avenue east until it dead ends and then following the signs. You an also take Plathe west from Rowan. Either way, take care on Plathe as it is not paved.
After you get there, you will understand why the city is planning on paving Plathe!
There will be food (breakfast) and T-shirts for the first 100 folks to show up.
I hope you will join me there.
This is actually a great opportunity to talk with council members about city issues. No appointments necessary.
We have a “Vox Pop” period early in each coucil meeting’s agenda. Vox Pop gives citizens the opportunity to address council on whatever is on their mind, but not on the agenda. The good news is that you can bring up any issue that you want the council to look at. The bad news is that there is a 3 minute time limit and the council won’t get into a discussion with you during Vox Pop. I know it drives people nuts when we just sit there and don’t comment, but it is not the proper time. One or more of us WILL frequently bring up an issue that was presented during Vox Pop when we get to the “Communications and Reports” section at the very end of the meeting. Most often, we request staff to investigate whatever the issue is and bring back more information.
I also ask for public comment on various issues and proposed ordinances after they are presented by staff. Once public comment is closed and the issue brought back to council for discussion, procedural rules make it impossible to receive additional public comments. The process is somewhat formal, but necessary for us to be able to move the meeting along.
I believe I can safely say that every single member of the city council will make themselves available to meet with a citizen who has a question or concern. People have learned that they can drop by my business to chat and I take any call that comes in when someone says they want to talk about a city issue. It is part of my job and my colleagues on council feel the same way when you contact them.
What makes this coming Saturday special is that you will get the opportunity to talk one on one to multiple members of the council without having to track each of us down individually. While we can’t talk to each other about city matters and can’t make decisions outside of a council meeting, we CAN talk to you.
Even if you don’t have a burning issue you want to bring up, I hope you will join us Saturday and enjoy one of the most beautiful parks anywhere on the west coast of Florida.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor