by Paula Sweeley
Dear Mayor Hoydick and Council Members,
I think this idea is well worth considering and would love some feedback on it. I think this would give members of the community a chance to participate in our political process even if they are not able to come to Council meetings. Their names could be read as authors of questions submitted, and even if they can’t attend, they can view the YouTube video of the forum. It could be explained at the end that time did not allow for all questions to be answered but that unanswered questions could be resubmitted the following month.
“These forums are a welcome way for Stratford residents to express ideas and concerns to our elected representatives. Why not include some Q and A if there is time remaining after members of the public have spoken. The public could be invited in the Mayor’s newsletter to submit questions to a given email address with a clear understanding that questions will be answered AS TIME ALLOWS at the monthly forum, after all who wished to have taken their turns.
I remember, a while back, that State Senator Kelly and then Representative Hoydick sponsored Q and A sessions at different local diners, and they were very effective in bringing about some real dialogue between the public and our legislators.
The pandemic has prohibited such an activity currently, but Q and A at monthly forums, is very possible. There has been time left over, sometimes 40 to 45 minutes before the Council meeting starts. A Q&A would make excellent use of that time.
I think this is a simple, very reasonable, easily accomplished idea and would go far toward transparency, encouraging public participation and increasing public inclusion in Stratford’s government.”