Edenton Town Councilman Roger Coleman announced plans Tuesday to address the town’s “information gap” by publishing a quarterly report that features major initiatives.
“In campaigning for town council, I found that some residents lacked awareness of our town’s accomplishments and the status of our many projects,” he said. “As a council, we are fortunate to have regular reporting by the Chowan Herald, coverage of our meetings on cablevision and YouTube, and postings on the town’s Facebook page and web site. Even with this effort, it is estimated that information reaches only about 50 percent of our residents.”
Coleman’s proposal calls for Town Hall to add a quarterly report to utility billings much like the letter used to update the community on town water improvements. Monthly utility statements are sent to 2,260 customers.
Coleman said the quarterly report coming from Town Manager Anne-Marie Knighton and Mayor Jimmy Stallings would highlight at least three areas: recent town accomplishments, town project updates and town opportunities. Examples might include information on the town’s Americans with Disabilities Act plan, the proposed street paving schedule, Kadesh Church restoration status and an invitation for residents to ask questions or share concerns at Town Council meetings.
Councilman Craig Miller described this proposal as a “Management Report for the Town.”
The report could also direct residents to the town Facebook page and to the town web site for additional community resources.
“An informed community is a stronger, more involved community,” Coleman said. “Our citizens are far more knowledgeable about events and activities than residents in other towns. However, I believe we can do even more to further community cohesiveness by promoting additional awareness of our achievements, our challenges and our opportunities for service.”
Coleman planned to introduce the proposal during “matters timely and important” portion of Tuesday’s council meeting. He wants the proposal be placed on the Jan. 27 Administrative Committee Agenda for the recommendation to the full council in February. If approved, the inclusion of a quarterly report in utility billings could begin in March.
Coleman said he has not examined the cost of including a letter in the billings but will depend on staff to help provide this information.
Coleman said such a would help address commitments affirmed both in the town’s Strategic Communications Recommendations (2019): “… there isn’t widespread awareness among some of the most engaged members of the community of these plans and the progress being made” and in the Town Council Vision Statement (2017): “The Mayor and Town Council also recognize Edenton’s future prosperity depends on … encouraging residents and visitors to become integral participants in Edenton’s unique community.”