Getting the information out | Mayor's Corner

By Dave Earling | Jan 06, 2017

On Dec. 29, I marked five years, one month in the mayor's chair. As you may recall, I took office a little early, on Nov. 29, 2011, because the previous mayor was appointed. In that circumstance, I took office on the date the election was certified, not Jan. 1.

During those five years, we at City Hall have tried to step up our communication with you, the public, in a variety of ways. I acknowledge there are those in the community who feel we in government are not forthcoming and that we should be much more transparent. However, when I am out and about in the city, I hear most citizens feel they remain engaged as a result of our extended efforts.

From the beginning, we have worked hard to communicate through the press, locally and regionally. The Edmonds Beacon and My Edmonds News have provided excellent coverage locally, and the Daily Herald at the regional level.

Most news releases are generated through my office by my executive assistant, Carolyn LaFave. Carolyn Douglas works on feature television news pieces, such as our Christmas festivities and our work for better access to our waterfront.

As many of you know, we have a variety of other ways of getting information to you. I have enjoyed providing my twice-monthly columns locally through the Beacon and My Edmonds News. I write all of my own stuff, with edits by staff. Also, we will soon have my directors providing columns on important work their departments will have on the 2017 agenda.

A year or so ago, the council made the decision to televise our meetings live, which allows you more immediate city access to information. Of course, the meetings are also broadcast throughout the week on local access television stations 21 on Comcast and 39 on Frontier.

We continue to hold quarterly town hall meetings in local neighborhoods. My directors and I find these sessions a very valuable way to hear feedback on neighborhood and citywide issues. Sometimes the crowds are small, other times large. Either way, it’s valuable time spent.

Three years ago, I began doing state-of-the-city presentations, usually in February. I find it valuable to summarize where we have been and have a look ahead to the new year. This year, the presentation will be 8:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Edmonds Theater, and will be rebroadcast on local access television. As usual, we will have two guest speakers to provide their own unique perspective.

Besides revamping our web page a number of years ago, about a year and a half ago we introduced a Facebook page, which provides a good, quick source of information on city activities. It has received good reviews from the community.

Additionally, since fall 2012 we have produced a quarterly newsletter, "Update on Edmonds." The newsletter contains articles and information on city projects, board and commission work, and department updates. If you aren't already on the mailing list you can subscribe at www.edmondswa.gov/edmonds-newsletter-home.html.

Lastly, city directors and I are frequently asked to speak at Chamber of Commerce luncheons and various service clubs. We are pleased to do so, and find these opportunities very helpful, with great feedback and questions received from the members in attendance on key issues.

While we are always looking for new ways to get the word out, we have come a long way in trying to get valuable information to you so you know what is happening in Edmonds. I hope many of you find our efforts beneficial and informative.

 

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