Longmont Residents Can Raise Any Issues During Tuesday City Council Open Forum
If you go
What: Longmont City Council open forum
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Civic Center City Council chambers, 350 Kimbark St., Longmont
Longmont City Council’s 2018-2020 Work Plan, which the council adopted last fall and may be revised during a Feb. 1-2 council retreat, can be viewed through a link at tinyurl.com/y8wll2gt
Tuesday’s Longmont City Council meeting will be an open forum, giving residents a chance to talk to council members about any issue on those residents’ minds.
People can sign up to talk for five minutes each on any topic. The city advises would-be speakers to arrive “a little early” to get their names on the speakers’ list.
A sign-up sheet on a table just outside the Civic Center Council chambers — 350 Kimbark St. — usually is available at about 6:30 p.m. and the open forum will get under way at 7.
When council members were recently asked what they would like to hear or expected to hear at the forum, two — Councilman Tim Waters and Councilwoman Marcia Martin — responded.
Said Waters: “There is little doubt we will hear a variety of ideas and perspectives during the open forum. I hope we will hear as many best hopes for Longmont and the future as we do worst fears.
“In any case, the open forum is a great example of how government works at the local level — residents engaging directly with elected officials to advance the interests of the city,” Waters said. “It would be fun to see many Longmonters take advantage of this opportunity.”
Said Martin: “I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on energy conservation, water conservation, and city infrastructure.”
Martin said the council “has put out pretty explicit details on major initiatives for the city” and that she’d like to hear “what people think about those goals.”
Last year, the council adopted a “2018-2020 Work Plan” that listed the members’ visions for the community’s future, the goals for achieving those visions and a number of actions they identified as steps to take toward making progress on those visions and goals by the end of this year.
One of those visions: “In 20 years, Longmont will be the world’s greatest village, where children are most fortunate to be born and raised, where people will have access to food and shelter, and where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and feel that they belong.”
A second vision: “In 20 years, Longmont will have a developed Main Street from Pike Road to Highway 66 and a river corridor that stretches from the sugar mill to the fairgrounds providing a vibrant economic, residential, cultural and entertainment epicenter that is sustainable and respects the natural environment.”
The council is expected to revisit that work plan during its annual retreat, scheduled this year for Feb. 1 and 2 at the Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road.
While agendas for the council’s weekly regular meetings and study sessions include a Public Invited To Be Heard item, speakers at those meetings are limited to three minutes each, and council procedures do not allow council members or the city staff to immediately comment on the issues or questions the speakers have raised.
At the end of those regular meetings and study sessions, council members and city staff sometimes do discuss what they’ve heard during public comments earlier in the meeting, but that’s often hours after the speakers have already left the council chambers.
At the council’s open public forum meetings, however, council members sometimes engage in more immediate exchanges with the people who show up to speak.
The council is expected to hold at least two open forum meetings this year. Tuesday’s will be the first.
More than two dozen people spoke at last year’s Jan. 16 open forum, with residents raising issues such as whether Longmont needs its own facility to shelter the homeless, concerns over accidents at oil and gas operations that might occur in Boulder County, and what zoning districts should permit the presence of residential treatment facilities for youths with substance and alcohol abuse problems.
Last July 17, more than 30 people spokes at the council’s second 2018 open forum.
Topics at that forum ranged from residents concerned about the lack of affordable rental housing, to a call for city support for programs assisting abused and neglected children, to a complaint about sprinklers on city properties wasting water.
Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or email@example.com or twitter.com/jfryartc