Columbia Residents Get Their Hands On The Keys To The City

7 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, October 06 2010 Oct 6, 2010 Wednesday, October 06, 2010 10:58:52 PM CDT October 06, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA- The "Keys to the City" program provides an avenue for residents to learn about resources and express their opinions to city officials.

Bill Cantin is the city's neighborhood response coordinator.  He works to help Columbia residents have their voice heard on important issues.

"Maybe they see the city's working on something, the council's doing something that maybe a citizen thinks, 'I don't think that's the right way to approach it or I would like to see something different.' Well, this kind of event is an opportunity for folks to come and express their concerns and just to learn more about how the city of Columbia operates," Cantin said.

The program works to maintain open communications between the public and city officials.

"We use it as an avenue to connect with citizens.  Let them provide their feedback to council members and have the city offices there to provide their information," Cantin said.

Representatives from several city departments, including parks and recreation, water and light and public works were available at the "Keys to the City" program to provide additional information.

"It's good for us to remember who we serve and to stay connected with them," Cantin said.

The program also allowed residents to sit with city council members and have one-on-one discussions, which allows residents to go straight to officials for answers.

"I think it brings the citizens of the community to the department heads that they may not ever get a chance to meet," Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser said.

Columbia resident Russell Davis came to the program because his client had a problem with water drainage at his mechanic shop.

"One of my commercial clients have a real problem, and so I made color pictures of the problem and brought them and gave them to the mayor," Davis said.

The program will continue on October 20th with a workshop on how to facilitate a community meeting.

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