Mayor’s memo: Connecting with your City Council
As part of the City Council, I regularly have discussions that affect residents, businesses and organizations in Bloomington. In 2018, one of our priorities as a Council was finding new ways to inform and connect with residents and stakeholders.
One of our outreach efforts was a series of town hall forums in October. More than 400 residents attended one of these events hosted in their council districts. Councilmembers led discussions about the City’s strategic priorities and upcoming projects such as a new community center and other facility improvements. I led the all-city session.
The high level of engagement we saw at the forums—with nearly 240 resident questions submitted—confirmed the need for finding new ways to connect with the community. We answered questions live at the town hall events and began posting a list of answers to the forum questions that you can find on the City’s website at blm.mn/faq. We have also been providing answers in video and print. See below.
Another new project we’re working on is a print, web and video feature called “Around B-Town.” It will be a short, monthly rundown of the conversations the Council has been having, the projects we’ve been working on and what’s been approved.
We provide many ways for residents to find out what’s on the Council’s agenda. You can watch Council meetings on cable, streamed live on the City’s website or find past meetings any time at blm.mn/meetings.
People are watching the meetings on these platforms, but we hope to widen our reach with Council information that’s more accessible. With “Around B-Town,” we expect to reach people where they are to provide another easy way to stay informed. With more than 9,000 Facebook followers, the social media audience that will receive “Around B-Town” updates is significant. Not to mention the 38,000 households and 5,000 businesses that get the Briefing in the mail each month.
We want it to be easy for you to find out what we’re working on and how to get involved. These forums and “Around B-Town” are just a few of an ongoing series of opportunities for residents to interact directly with their councilmembers.