“One thing is very certain,” said committee member Amanda Dove. “There is no one way to reach all of our residents. With so many ways to communicate today, we see how important it is to use multiple forms of media for community outreach. I’m pleased with the committee’s efforts.”
In an effort to better convey information on community meetings, public events and town business, the CSD board in March directed the committee to explore options and bring recommendations.
Committee members are CSD Directors Chris Steele and Kevin Graves, along with residents Dove, Chris Middleton and Jennifer Mixon.
Graves believes the exercise was worthwhile and productive. “The recommendations made by the committee address several different venues for communicating and therefore engaging the community,” he said. “Currently, only a small segment of the community receives information on what happens around them, and much of that information comes from unreliable sources – sources other than the media and official town website.”
Suggestions by the committee included the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to allow residents to follow and receive updates from the town regarding events, meetings and matters of general interest.
Enhancing the town’s existing website to make it easier to use was another suggestion. The site currently posts CSD meeting agendas and audio minutes, but could be more relevant with more public participation, the committee said. An informal, old-fashioned newsletter mailed out to residents on a bi-annual basis was another recommendation.
But for Mixon, one particular option stands out in neon lights. “Our most significant and cost-effective form of community outreach,” said Mixon, “is the idea of installing a digital sign in our community, which is the best way we found to reach as many residents as possible.”
The electronic message board, according to the committee report, could be placed at the corner of Highway 4 and Bixler Road at an estimated cost of about $40,000.
“We have proposed a tasteful community digital sign that can serve not just for monthly happenings, but will also be essential in emergency situations,” said Dove.
To view a copy of the committee report, visit www.townofdiscoverybay.org.