(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / Jan. 11, 2019) – It’s the new year and the City of Stillwater is already making good on its resolution to expand its civic engagement opportunities.
“Overall, the City does a great job sharing information with residents, but we need to take advantage of new technologies to improve how we gather public feedback on issues people care about,” Director of Marketing and Public Relations Sherry Fletcher said. “We are adding a lot of new features to the City’s outreach program, including a podcast, a polling service and an interactive budget simulation.”
She added that strengthening civic engagement is one of the key priorities that Stillwater City Council identified in the Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, so the marketing team looked to the International Association for Public Participation’s IAP2 Spectrum for guidance.
“We believe that our local government has a lot of civic engagement opportunities in place — from public meetings, to public forums, to citizen advisory groups, to citywide elections — but there’s room to improve in the spectrum’s Consult level, which is defined as 'to obtain public feedback on a broad range of public issues that concern our community.’”
Beginning in January, Stillwater residents will see a series of opportunities to provide public input. Opportunities include:
Pop Up City Hall. Look for a bright blue and white umbrella at public events, and you will see a pop up city hall, which means you will be able to talk to city management and elected officials about topics you are interested in — at an event you were already planning to attend. If you can’t be there in person, you can use social media to ask officials questions or provide input in real time. Dates for Pop Up City Hall will be advertised throughout the year. If you are hosting a public event and would like to have a Pop Up City Hall on location, email email@example.com.
FlashVote. Do you have one minute a month to help make your local government better? If so, you should sign up for FlashVote. It’s a secure, anonymous, scientific survey service that allows residents to provide input via surveys covering topics directly affecting Stillwater. Participants can choose to receive surveys through email, text message, phone call or by logging onto an internet browser. Surveys are open for 48 hours and residents can review citywide results 24 hours after a survey is closed. To sign up by phone, call 775.235.2340 and mention you want to sign up for FlashVote in Stillwater.
Balancing Act. Try your hand at balancing the City of Stillwater’s FY19 Annual Budget to provide input on the development of the FY20 Proposed Operating Budget. Balancing Act is an online simulation tool that allows you to submit your plan by making changes to revenues and expenditures. Results (but not personal information) will be collected through March 30, 2019, and reviewed by city management to present to City Council as part of the budget process. The simulation will remain active to allow residents to use it as a tool to understand the budget. Balancing Act is a part of FY20 Budget Input, which includes civic group presentations, public hearings and other input opportunities.
Taxpayer Receipt. A companion piece to Balancing Act, Stillwater’s Taxpayer Receipt let’s you see where your tax dollars are going and how you contribute to funding the City’s general budget services and programs.
FYI Stillwater. Subscribe to the City of Stillwater’s new podcast, FYI Stillwater, where you’ll hear information about your local government you didn’t know you need to know. Find FYI Stillwater at Stillwater.org, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and more.
To make it easy to find all of these new civic engagement initiatives and to find established initiatives like the City’s Speakers Bureau and results to the Citizen Satisfaction Survey, visit the new Civic Engagement tab under Government at stillwater.org.
For media inquiries, contact the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at 405.742.8219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.