In preparation for the quarterly town hall meeting last night, I spent some time looking over how things at city hall have changed during my time on the city council — particularly in the way your city government communicates with citizens. It's amazing how far we have come. If you aren't tied in to the latest information flow, you should consider it. There is some good information to be found.
The fastest growing means of communications comes from our City of Neosho Facebook page. For those of you on Facebook, searching under City of Neosho will get you to the page. With more than 500 likes and over 100 followers in just the first six months of having the page up, it's growing in popularity every day. Pictures and information from all around the city can be found there.
Just this week, you could read about construction improvements for the crosswalk in front of the high school, a reminder about last night's town hall meeting, pictures from the city pool as employees and volunteers worked to repaint the pool interior, and information about disposing of limbs that were downed by this past week's snow storm. It's absolutely a must for those that want information and use technology to keep up-to-date.
Another tool that has been around for a while is the city's partnership with Nixle. They offer notifications by email or text. The latest topics over the past week included updates on water projects and possible water disruptions as well as a heads up about storm siren testing that occurred this past Tuesday. It's another good (and free) tool that can keep you updated on what's happening in Neosho. To sign up, just visit the city website at www.NeoshoMo.org and click the 'Nixle' square on the left side of the page.
And don't forget the town hall meeting itself. Last night's meeting covered a range of topics — some of which were planned, and some of which came from citizens who attended. I can't think of a better way to get your concerns and comments heard than by having face-to-face interaction with the people charged with representing you in your city government. For those that have never attended, it's a laid back setting and discussion about OUR city. We talk about the good things that are happening. We discuss things that could be improved. Most importantly, we'll talk about whatever it is you have questions about.
Bottom line, we've come a long way from the days when city hall was more like a prison on lock down. Things have changed so much — and that's not by accident. I've pushed hard since my first days in 2009 to be more open (and honest) with our citizens. We all live here. Neosho is our home. There is no need for government to be anything but open and honest about what goes on in OUR town.
Page 2 of 2 - A quick note to my dear friend Bruce Bowers — a former co-worker and friend for life: thanks for all of the laughs and stories over the years. While we don't talk as much as we used to, it was a joy sitting down with you last week. Don't be a stranger!
Until next time: stay the course, keep the faith, and may God bless Neosho.
Richard Davidson is mayor of Neosho.