I have recently spoken in several forums about a public outreach plan that I plan to implement later this year as part of my county commissioner role. The purpose of the outreach plan is to talk to Stokes County residents more about their local government and why it is important to them. The plan will also attempt to increase local government transparency and make it much easier for voters to know what the elected officials are doing with their taxpayer dollars.
Below is a summary of the major components of my outreach plan:
1. I will continue to provide information on local government activities such as commissioner meetings on my blog on this website.
2. I will begin my regular office hours in April 2019 at the County Administration (Reagan Building) on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 4 to 7 PM in Room 325 on the third floor. No appointment is needed -- just walk in. If residents show interest in meeting, I may expand the hours to at least two times per month. In addition to office hours, I am always available to talk on the phone or meet with people at other times and locations.
3. Here on my website, you will find a paper entitled the Upside Down Pyramid. This paper reflects my personal analysis of local government based on my nine years as Stokes County Manager, where I compare local government to other business experiences I had before entering local government. This paper is the centerpiece of my public outreach plan because I hope to use it as a call to voters to make sure they aggressively vet candidates before electing them to local government positions.
4. I will offer to publicly address any group in the county on the topic of local government and the Upside Down Pyramid. As a public speaker, I will also include a question-and-answer format as part of my presentations.
5. I plan to conduct, at my expense, some town hall meetings in all sections of Stokes County. The town halls will include discussion of the Upside Down Pyramid, questions and answers, and maybe some special guests.
There are a couple of additional points I would like to make about my outreach plan. First, this plan is designed to help me be a better commissioner and better represent the residents of Stokes County. It’s also designed to provide transparency and shine a bright light on Stokes County’s local government policies and procedures. It will revolve around my personal experience and opinions on local government issues and not reflect on or be about other board members or their viewpoints on local government issues. I plan to implement Sections 4 and 5 of the plan after June 30, 2019 when the new county budget is approved by the Board of County Commissioners.