How could your town/city hall work better for you?

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Posted 9/30/2012 by charlatan in NSBR Board
 

charlatan
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Posted: 9/30/2012 4:18:17 PM
I work in local government and we're always looking for ways to make things better for our constituents. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of money, so some of the things that really need to be done have to be put on the back burner for a while.

In the meantime I'd love to hear your opinions about what you as a resident/business owner/worker would like to see from your local government. I work for a southern town of approximately 30,000 but I welcome comments from people of all demographics.

charlatan
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Posted: 10/2/2012 8:32:18 AM
Btt for input.
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*christine*
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Posted: 10/2/2012 8:53:36 AM
Be open outside of normal business hours. Our city hall is open 8-4:30 and then they close at noon on Friday. I work 8-5:30, 30 minutes away from the city I in which I live. The only time I've been there was when I took a vacation day to go on a field trip with my son's class.

I wish they were open at least one night a week.


~Christine~

If we weren't all crazy we would go insane!!!

ostrich girl
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Posted: 10/2/2012 9:29:41 AM
We have an online system- announcements that go out in an e-mail blast. There are listings for every department (maintenance, zoning, etc) with person in charge and phone numbers. You can even file a request online. Maybe you can link it with a parks and rec dept?


-mich


mama_chris76
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Posted: 10/2/2012 9:37:27 AM
This is specific to my area (that is not being done, but I wish it were), but have a web presence (either a website, facebook, or other social media) that is up-to-date - at least weekly. Offer online communications.

My big one is that right now I'm looking for a meeting room. I have no idea who I can contact for this. A list of local churches or private organizations that have this type of space would help me a lot.


***Christy, mom to a twelve year old boy, a ten year old girl, an eight year old girl and a five year old girl.

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divinghkns
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Posted: 10/2/2012 9:43:03 AM
Honestly, the best thing you can do is FREE - greet me with a smile and try to be helpful without being impatient, annoyed, etc. I'm not saying that you as an individual do that, but I've lived in counties /cities where I was treated awfully - and now I live in a county/town where we are greeted with a smile.

No one ever seems to get impatient or treat you like an imposition, etc. No question is stupid and they are eager to help. Often times they will try to give you tips or handle things they don't normally just so that you don't have to go running around the courthouse like crazy to get everything you need.


TheBiscuitScraps
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Posted: 10/2/2012 9:50:31 AM
I'm moving to a town with a population of 26,589, Garner, NC, that is adjacent to Raleigh, NC, population over 416,000, but that is also part of a major Tri-city area, so what I'm looking for may not be what you have the ability to do, since I don't know your surrounding population.

However, what I want from our town manager is to FIGHT for good restaurants/store fronts/coffee shops to come into our town. We don't have a Starbucks in Garner and it is my fave coffee. So I will be standing in the town offices often after we get moved.

Our parks and rec has outdoor movies in the park sometimes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The people bring their lawn chairs and enjoy the free movie and picnic in the park. Even if your town cannot afford the movie, some of your civic organizations could go in together to get the movie and equipment and you could charge 50 cents a head to get in.

I, too, would like to have access to an AFFORDABLE room to have scrapbooking crops, but it is next to impossible to find it. Churches charge an arm and leg any more. When I lived in Apex, NC, I could "rent" a room by only giving a $50 deposit and getting it back if the room was clean when we left. That was really very nice.



Carol
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Georgiapea
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Posted: 10/2/2012 11:55:50 AM
This is a very interesting thread, thank you, Charlatan, for starting it. I too live in a small southern town and find it so delightful. Our little city has wonderful plantings around our downtown area and today are putting out the fall decorations. I work in our courthouse so am downtown every day.

We lost a lot of downtown business when a nearby highway became a big business draw, and our original town site is struggling. But a former 'highway' restaurant has come to 'uptown' and the city has opened the door for residential usage. There are apartments going in above older buildings and I have bought a small business structure to be made into a 3 story home.

There is a military installation in our county so new people move here all the time. We love the friendly atmosphere and other new people say the same thing.

I'm actually attending my first ever City Council meeting tonight.

charlatan
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Posted: 10/2/2012 6:15:36 PM
Thanks for the great ideas, everyone. I'm happy to see that we're already doing most of them, although some better than others.

Mama Chris76 and TheBiscuitScraps: have you tried any libraries? Our county system has multiple libraries that offer meeting rooms for a low fee.

TBS, I'm right outside Charlotte so we're in a similar situation as Garner (that's a great place, btw. I hope you're enjoying it.)

Georgiapea, you're probably at your meeting right now, but I hope it is a good/interesting one.


TheBiscuitScraps
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Posted: 10/2/2012 6:32:38 PM
We lived in the area of Wake County for about 5 years where Garner was our shopping base and I've been scrapbooking with one of the city council members for years. She keeps us up to speed on the what's happening. Now that we will be moving there, we will be more involved.

The Town Manager came from Suwanee, GA where they built up a huge shopping center there during his tenure. I'm hoping he can lure Panera and Starbucks, but I also would like to see a JoAnns and a bookstore. So many companies don't take into consideration that people come into Raleigh and pass by or drive through Garner. If they would build it the customers would come! LOL

Otherwise, my tax dollars will go back into Cary.


Carol
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AncestralPea

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Posted: 10/2/2012 6:42:19 PM
I live in a state where each small town has its own municipal government. Our township is 10 square miles. We cannot afford all these small fifedom's - each with a township manager and administrative staff, police chief and police department with admin staff etc., zoning dept, etc.

I'd like to see government here reorganize by larger areas such as school district or at the county level. It would be more efficient and I'd like to see taxes go down.



mama_chris76
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Posted: 10/2/2012 6:50:56 PM

Mama Chris76 and TheBiscuitScraps: have you tried any libraries? Our county system has multiple libraries that offer meeting rooms for a low fee.


I work for our local library and we do have meeting rooms, but I have to drive 15 miles from my house to get to a branch. My actual town is so small we don't have a library. Population 500 (within in the actual town - probably twice that if you extend it a few miles).


***Christy, mom to a twelve year old boy, a ten year old girl, an eight year old girl and a five year old girl.

/ partly crafty / my blog

My Swagbucks Referral
My Pinterest



I can't remember all the times I try to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass. ~Counting Crows, "A Long December"

maryannscraps
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Posted: 10/2/2012 6:57:34 PM
Our town does a pretty good job of it. We're about 6,000 people. Town Hall closes early Fridays, but is open Tuesday evenings. All the services and contact info is online. All meetings are posted in paper and online and on the local cable tv.

Every time I go in there, all I get are smiles and 'how can I help you?' I love to visit there. I had to drop off some papers last week, and the town clerk asked if I could bring my dog in for a biscuit. She could see her out in the car from the window.

We use a LOT of volunteers to accomplish things. People in town are very generous with their time and expertise. We're one of the most financially stable towns around. Some call us cheap, but we call it yankee thrift.
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