Crystal, MN – In January 2015, incoming Crystal City Councilmembers Olga Parsons (Section II), Elizabeth Dahl (Ward 1) and Jeff Kolb (Ward 2) announced the creation of the “Citizen Connection Initiative,” a program designed to guide their priorities and decision making throughout their term in office.
April 16 represents 100 days since the three new council members were sworn in, and there is much progress to report on the initiative.
“We are pleased to announce that the Citizen Connection Initiative was embraced by most of our colleagues on the council, and with their support we have accomplished several of the initial goals we identified,” said Parsons.
Key initiatives already accomplished include:
• Implementing new council rules to govern the council in a responsible manner
• Implementing a new tracking system to monitor feedback from residents
• Testing a new interview process for boards and commissions
• Sending thank you notes to citizens who speak at council meetings
• Began the Plain Language Initiative to streamline communications from the city to residents
• Restructuring work sessions to include dedicated time to discuss issues raised by residents
• Establishing an Ordinance Review Task Force to streamline outdated ordinances
• Kept residents informed about key issues, such as the proposed rail connection, through various channels
“While we have accomplished many of our initial goals, there is still much work to be done, and we intend to keep the focus on serving the residents of Crystal and maintaining a customer service focus in the city” said Dahl.
Ongoing and upcoming initiatives include:
• Reevaluating the structure and goals of city commissions and boards
• More neighborhood meetings throughout the summer
• A traffic symposium scheduled for this fall
• A long term branding and communications strategy
“Our goal was to make the Crystal City Government more transparent, open, and responsive to its citizens, and I think we are making good progress,” said Kolb. “I look forward to building on our success over the next few years.”
As a reminder Initial steps to the Citizen Connection Initiative included a pledge by all three incoming councilmembers to do the following:
• Maintain a personal website where they will post information about key votes made by the council
• Maintain a Facebook presence where residents can interact with their representative
• Post occasional updates to Nextdoor.com about relevant community meetings
• Strive for a 72 hour or less response time to citizen inquiries
For more information on the Citizen Connection Initiative contact the individual councilmembers using the contact information below: