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Lexington Council continues to explore more civic engagement options

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Stu Johnson
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CivicLex Director Richard Young Presents to Council General Government and Planning Committee

Lexington city leaders continue to investigate ways to enhance civic engagement in and around urban county government. Members of the General Government and Planning Council Committee got a final report from Richard Young of CivicLex this week. Council Member Kathy Plomin thinks better awareness of city hall topics is important.

“To me that’s so key, to educate, well this is coming up. It’s got to come up and they got to be interested or they’re not going to give us feedback. They’re not going to come down here. They’re not going to do emails. So I think, again, to really look at a strong marketing plan for education in our community about issues is really key,” said Plomin.

The CivicLex group made a number of recommendations. Those include providing for virtual public comment and consideration of switching the timing for Council work sessions and Council meetings. Richard Young said that would mean holding work sessions where issues are more thoroughly discussed at night and moving the final action sessions to daytime.

Council Member Liz Sheehan asked about new methods through the use of technology to keep citizens in the loop.

“Particularly for the ability to track a piece of legislation going through our process and then also being able to give input at the different stages, I think a virtual option would be very useful for us,” said Sheehan.

Committee members were told plans call for equipment modifications within the Council Chamber to take place later this year. CivicLex coordinated surveys involving about a thousand citizens and 75 employees within government. Young says responses were similar in the need to enhance civic engagement.

One of those suggestions is to have City Hall greeters to enhance the government experience for visitors.

CivicLex is a financial supporter of WEKU.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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