GARLAND — With a goal of increasing transparency and community engagement, Mayor Winifred Murphy is ready to host a series of forums.
The first will be held at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Town Hall Annex/Visitors Center (Old Southern Bank building), 96 Ingold Ave., Garland. It’s scheduled to continue on the first Tuesday of each month through 2018 with two sessions to accommodate work and living schedules.
Murphy said she wants residents to know what’s going on in their town and to provide feedback. Through the forum some of the other goals is to improve services and unite the town.
“This is another way to provide that transparency and to provide the opportunity to ask questions,” Murphy said. “I’m hoping that they’ll be able to gain a greater understanding about how the town works.”
Murphy was elected to another mayoral term in early November. She joined the board in 2011 and was appointed as mayor in 2012. Murphy was later elected in 2013.
“As I campaigned, I talked with a lot of citizens that felt like they were not included and they don’t have a good understanding of the decision making process,” Murphy said.
She added that members of the community are welcome to attend meetings and express their feelings. Participating commissioners will also be available to answer questions.
“I want everyone to feel like that they have that opportunity and that right,” Murphy said.
Some of the current topics include progress in Garland, public safety, streets, traffic, buildings, recreation and finances. Topics in the future will be announced, but Murphy said suggestion will be accepted. The meetings will also give attendees more time to express themselves. During board meetings, the public comment time and interaction time with town leaders is limited.
“We share information with them and they share information with us that we can take back,” Murphy said about the upcoming forums.
For more information, contact town hall officials at 910-529-4141 or by calling Murphy at 910-627-1692.