As many of you are aware, the City of Rathdrum decided to no longer stream their City Council as well as Planning & Zoning Commission meetings on Zoom. Many of you, myself included, were not happy!
So, I decided to reach out to the Mayor to ask why the city is moving in a seemingly less transparent direction. His answer will surprise you…
“We have not seen the interest in zoom meetings with the public over the past three months, with more people attending in person than on the zoom meeting. We have only had three Rathdrum residents that have attended the meetings via zoom over the past three months.”
There is apparently a statement on the city website about this, but I was unable to locate it. I generally find the site clunky and not very intuitive, but I wanted to give credit where credit is due. The mayor responded in a very prompt manner to my inquiries.
I will leave it up to each and every one of you to decide whether the access of three citizens, or any citizen for that matter, to the City process, is enough justification to keep streaming on Zoom. Just in case you wanted to say something on the matter, you can reach Mayor Vic Holmes via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mayor also included some info on current and future resources for citizens to stay informed and engaged. It will take individuals like me and you getting involved for things to change.
“The City has just signed up with a company to start using text messaging to send out information to the public. Please watch for notices on our website as well as Facebook for the new feature. Soon you will be able to report potholes, streetlight outages and other items through text messaging as well as receive notices of public hearings, city council meetings and other events through the text messaging service.
The City already has an email system setup for notification of meetings on the city website. If you would like to sign up for those email notices go to www.rathdrum.org/email“
It all comes down to staying informed, staying engaged! So, for those of you in Rathdrum that have not done so, I would highly recommend:
- To sign up for the email alerts at http://www.rathdrum.org/email
- To sign up to the Responsible North Idaho – Rathdrum Facebook Group
- Attend more meetings!
Remember Rathdrum is a city that is small enough where we can still determine our future, but it will take all of us staying informed, staying engaged, and showing up when it counts!