Letter: Reader offers suggestions on how to improve communications

To the editor:
While the development of Depot Square has been of interest for some time (five to six years at least), it has become more frequently discussed as of recent weeks.
All of us want an even better Bristol, and realize that our downtown can play a big role as we go forward. But there is lack of significant agreement as to what we want, what will work.
I think that a good part of the reason for that lack of a consensus is that the public has been less than adequately informed by the city. Meetings of the various groups involved have frequently been cancelled, answers to questions, at meetings, or in writing, are rarely provided by the city to the public. While some information may be confidential during negotiations, I doubt that most of the questions fall into that category.
We need to, we deserve to, be kept better informed!
Again, we all want to move forward, as quickly as is possible. I have some suggestions for the city to consider to expedite the process and keep the tax paying public better informed.
First, designate one person from and for the city to be responsible for all the information of interest. We now have three to four key city groups involved, and even more on a lesser basis. Currently, no one is in charge to be responsive to the public. That person could be the go-to person when the public has questions, and ideas, and then provide the various groups with a list of those questions and idea, so they too know what is on people’s minds.
Have a city email address so that questions can be sent to the go-to person, and answered. The one city person so designated can get answers for those that have questions, and again, provide a synopsis of the input to the city groups that are involved. Comments can be equally meaningful.
Develop a city website to provide regular information to those that choose to follow this very critical issue. The developer has one, why don’t we have one that represents the city point of view, the city position. Reports, minutes, meeting schedules, etc., could be part of the site, again making it much easier for the tax paying public follow what is happening. Those questions that are of general interest should be published on the site and the answers as well.
There are other things that can be done. The go-to person could provide reports to the media, should provide reports at the Council meetings, thereby keeping more people informed. And, hopefully, by the city providing answers, and information, the negativity on the Blogs will be significantly reduced.
I hope that the city will agree with the need for the tax paying public to have more information, from the city. The city has to be more proactive in this area.
Maybe these suggestions or some variations of them will help make it happen.
William T. Stortz