Is there a chance for a survey? Will our town officials engage with residents? With all the discussion, postings, letters to the editor and more negative comments and nasty bantering from a few with regard to the past four referendums, it’s time to direct our collective energy to constructive questions directed to our residents and ask our town officials to engage with us openly, candidly and constructively.
I highly urge our town officials to quickly organize a town forum. An “open mic” town hall style forum where folks can ask questions, engage with our elected officials and expect responsive solutions . After four failed referendums, it would very refreshing to engage our town officials. Also, in an attempt to manage such a forum respectfully, perhaps a small group of volunteer moderators would take notes and sort out some real concerns we do have.
Some of the questions we have should include how effective is Newtown's fire, police, EMS, public works and other support services? Are the schools doing a good job? How do we feel about proposed bond programs to support public works, school and other purposes? How satisfied are residents? How do we get to know this? A survey is one option. Engaging all is another, not for one meeting though. A series of meetings would be ideal.
Newtown is not alone from other towns and cities without information and feedback from the vast majority of our town’s residents. A relatively small number of vocal residents typically attend town council meetings and provide suggestions and feedback. Yes, their opinions and feedback are often biased and represent their own personal interests, which are frequently different than the opinions of the majority of residents.
What do we need to do? It’s time for better communication with from our town government and until now there has been little effort , but my goal is to see change. I have written a few questions below in an attempt to gain some sort of understanding of what hopefully many will respond to.
A few questions for the voters…