SOMERTON — City Hall may need to be ready for an earful from residents.
City council members and officials plan to visit neighborhoods around Somerton to tell residents what City Hall is doing on their behalf but also to find out what more residents want from municipal government.
The city could begin making the neighborhood visits in September.
“I see it as a way for the people to become informed about things that are happening in the city and what City Hall is doing,” said newly elected Councilman Carlos Gonzalez, who in his campaign earlier this year had vowed to make such neighborhood visits as a way to bring government closer to the people.
City Administrator Bill Lee said at a recent council meeting that City Hall has identified 22 residential areas around Somerton where city officials plan to survey residents about their concerns.
He suggested that council members take turns accompanying other city officials in the neighborhood meetings, in which city department heads will also be present.
As part of the meetings, the city would show a video to residents showing them current programs and services being undertaken by City Hall.
“We have the problem of the people not going to city council meetings, and a lot of times they don't know about the issues we discuss until after we make decisions that impact them,” Gonzalez said. “These visits would help us to update them on the issues we are dealing with.”
The city already distributes an occasional bulletin to residents to keep them abreast of happenings at City Hall, but the neighborhood visits would further help involve residents in city government.