You may have noticed that we’re having more town events these days. The events are designed to create community and encourage neighbors to get to know each other. But there are other benefits as well. They are really good opportunities to interact with your police officers and your elected officials. They create many low-key, entertaining ways to build relationships, thereby making it easier to stay engaged in the business of your town.
Although an upcoming Master Planning questionnaire will solicit opinions from the community, and there are multiple other ways for residents to give input – a website form that can be submitted, the Mayor’s Community Office Hours, in-person during the public comment period of regular council meetings, or by email in advance of the council meetings – there is no way to replace the value of face-to-face interactions in social settings.
The council will be considering a wide variety of topics in the coming months and year; from whether to allow bee hives and other urban farming in town, to whether to allow tiny homes and alternative power sources. Should the residents be instructed on water conservation? Would it make sense to help property owners move to less water-reliant yards? What about native plants and invasive species? How many new trees do we want to plant and who will pay for these? What is a reasonable timeline for re-paving the streets and should we plan for paving the alleys also? Should we have a policy that mandates a certain amount of funds from each annual budget get put into savings? All of these questions are things I am planning to put before council. And community members will be better served if they chat about these ideas with council to let them know their thoughts ahead of the meetings where these items are considered.
This council takes their fiscal responsibilities very seriously, as they should. And it will be difficult for them to make wise fiscal decisions that reflect the community’s will, without residents being well-informed and sharing their thoughts.
I commend each of the council members for stepping up to help this community we all love. I think the council is doing a very good job and I am proud to work with them. I hope the residents and other community stakeholders will attend events and stay curious about the work the council is tackling each month.
If community events are hard to manage in your schedule or simply don’t work well for you, another easy way to get engaged and stay up to date on council agendas is to join your resident group, Mountain View United. This group emails monthly alerts about council meeting agendas and supporting packet information along with volunteer opportunities here in town. There are no obligations to participate beyond receiving the emails that keep you more informed. If you’re interested, please email Mountain View United lead Leal Algiene at Leality@gmail.com.
Mountain View is a special place and we all deserve to have a say in how we move forward into the future. Thank you to each member of our community who steps up to help with this shared responsibility.