Public forum time lightly used in Derby

At the start of each Derby City Council meeting, Mayor Randy White announces the public forum section of the gathering. It’s a chance for the city’s residents to share their thoughts with their governing body. Other than hot-button topics, or major developments, such as the city’s dinosaur park, there rarely are any takers.

It’s not for a lack of letting the public know.

As White said at a recent meeting: “I will remind everyone that this is your option and your right to come talk to the council anytime you want if you have something you feel is important to the city. We love hearing from the public.”As Kristy Bansemer, the city’s director of communications, put it: “we know that people are still speaking and communicating, but they are doing it in different ways. We recognize that people are busy and value their time.”

In that regard, the city has worked on different avenues to get the lines of communication going, including through social media.

“We oftentimes receive messages through Facebook and Twitter,” she said.

Along with social media, the public can contact officials through email, either by contacting the entire City Council, their Ward representative or an individual staffer. They can also use an online service request, or by contacting a beat police officer for public safety concerns.

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