• The Rep - A Dolls House

"Clayton Connects" Website Draws Public Input

September 12, 2012
A pair of public meetings and a new addition to the Clayton city website are part of an ongoing effort by city officials to determine what issues are important to members of the community.

A strategic plan steering committee made up of city residents and representatives of the business community met in June with a group of other residents and business owners. The goal was to come up with a list of 12 areas of interest to the city. Among those areas were city services, economic development, the public school system, arts and culture, and fiscal responsibility.

To get feedback, the areas of interest were presented at a pair of open houses held in late August at the Center of Clayton.

City Manager Craig Owens told the Clayton Board of Aldermen at its Aug. 28 meeting that about a dozen people attended the first open house and made several comments.

In addition to the open houses, on July 11 the city debuted a website known as Clayton Connects (www.claytonconnects.com). Darren Young, a communications coordinator with the city, told the board that as of Aug. 28, 113 users had signed up to participate on the site, generating 66 ideas and 59 comments.

"We have all been to meetings where few people have shown up because they have other obligations," Young said. "When was the last time 113 people showed up at a meeting? (On the site) we can post topics from meetings and people can interact with each other."

Clayton Mayor Linda Goldstein praised the website, saying the city should do more to spread the word of its existence. However, she said she was going to refrain from posting to the site because she did not want people to feel unduly influenced by her position.

The city has been working with The Novak Consulting Group, which was hired earlier in the year to help develop the strategic plan. The steering committee is scheduled to meet again in late September to review the comments and ideas developed from the website and open houses.

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