Agency Town Hall Meetings with Members of the Public

Agency Town Hall Meetings with Members of the Public

What problem does it solve? An informed and educated public supports its government far more than a public who distrusts its government and believes there is rampant corruption. What is your solution and who does it apply to? My solution is simple. Once a month, or bi-monthly, a town hall-style forum should be held for members of the public. Each month the location and agency participation would be changed in order to ensure the greatest number of public participants as well as maximum breadth of topics. For example, one month a forum can be held in Ocean County with a representative of Gaming Enforcement, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Division of Taxation, the State Police and Consumer Fraud. The next month a forum would be held in a different county with reps from five different agencies. The format of these meetings would be purely educational. Members of the public will ask pointed questions and the representatives will give point answers when able to do so. What is the anticipated impact? Such an approach will show that the administration cares about its constituents and wants to represent all of their interests. We live in a society that is becoming ever more distrustful of governmental authority because of allegations of corruption, fraud, patronage hires, etc. etc. The OPRA system is one step towards transparency but the biggest key to a political administration is putting a face to the questions and giving members of the public a face that they can interact with and voice their concerns and ask questions in order to gain knowledge about the civic process. Also, an educated public always makes for an easier administration.


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