One of the advantages of being a downtown merchant is that I have been one of the most accessible mayors in the city’s recent history. People routinely drop in and ask to speak with the Mayor. If I’m here, I drop what I’m doing and speak with them. I’m happy to do it.
My city business cards include my work number. My work number is 727-847-2424. When someone calls up and asks to speak with the Mayor, the call gets placed right through and I talk with the resident who called. While I have voicemail at City Hall, the voicemail encourages people to call my work number.
As the first Mayor of New Port Richey to have an official “Mayor’s Page” on facebook, it is easy to reach me via facebook as well. Everything posted to the Mayor’s Page is public, so anyone can read the conversations. Direct messages are a bit tricky because of Florida’s record retention requirements. I copy those and paste them into an email to my city email box so that there is a record of those conversations.
I’m regularly out in the community. I volunteer with various groups and am asked to speak with various groups as well. It is not at all unusual for someone to walk up and quiz me about some aspect of our city.
Even just doing my “day job” seems to attract citizen comments. I visited a client’s office yesterday and one of the employees told me about a pothole problem on one of the roads he drives daily. I relayed that info back to our City Manager and Public Works as soon as I got back to my office. As Mayor, I’m not responsible for fixing potholes and other issues, but I know who is responsible and will pass that information along to our City Manager so that these types of issues get addressed.
To be clear, the Mayor and City Council are responsible for setting overall policy, not dealing with specific administrative issues. It is our responsibility to turn over day to day issues to our City Manager for her attention. I do get citizen comments about the policy direction we should follow on various issues. These issues include fighting crime, keeping noise down, encouraging urban agriculture, and making the city a better place to live.
If you have a comment or suggestion, feel free to drop by, call, or talk to me when I am out and about.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor