By Laraine Rodgers
For those of us who live, work, or do business in Scottsdale, this is a great time to learn more about the city, from simply receiving email updates to actively being a part of civic engagement.
When COVID-19 hit in March, the city quickly began to address issues caused by this pandemic. Emergency plans were put in motion and some staff was redeployed to help as needed. Staff rethought processes and focused on critical activities, needs of citizens, the community and the budget.
As the community at large started to adapt their practices during and beyond this emergency, interest in the city’s services and operations increased. Community outreach was expanded; timely updates were provided online for key information.
For the latest information, see City of Scottsdale COVID-19 Updates.
Due to limitations on in-person activity, many city services modified delivery methods and continue to focus on, “Simply better service for a world-class city.” Changes were made to the way Scottsdale’s citizens engage and participate as a community, enabled by increased use of technology and communication platforms.
The requirement for community input and feedback throughout Scottsdale’s municipal planning process emphasizes the role of residents across visioning, planning, and review processes.
Here are some ways to stay engaged:
–The General Plan: Citizens may engage with the ongoing General Plan effort: Specific links and more details can be found in blogs: SCOTT website.
–Operating Budget and CIP: The 2020/2021 Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Plan was adopted at the June 16 City Council meeting. The annual report to Citizens for 2019/2020 will be published by September. See the 2018/2019 report.
–Ongoing City Council meetings: The City Council Agenda and Minutes page provides links to council sessions, past, current and planned, with marked agendas with votes and actions. You’ll also find links to the city’s organization chart, with names and contact information.
–For now, physical facilities are not open to the public. The meetings can be viewed on Cox Channel 11, streamed online at scottsdaleaz.com (search “live stream”). Check each meeting agenda to see how to provide input and make comments.
–Volunteer: There are over 20 ways to engage with the city as a volunteer. Although the volunteer program is still on “pause,” you can reach out now to learn more. If you know High School students, encourage them to check out the Mayor’s Youth Council.
–Board and commissions members provide input on a variety of issues affecting the city. You can learn more about their work and their meeting schedules, if there are any vacancies and how to apply to serve here. Their work and meetings are continuing electronically until further notice. There are vacancies on many of the city’s boards and commissions.
–Learn more about the candidates running for mayor and the three seats open on City Council in the Candidate information pamphlet. Two of the five mayoral and six of the nine council candidates will go forward to the General election on Nov. 3.
Civic engagement opportunities abound, even during this pandemic. Your voice counts – at City Hall, with the community at large, and as a volunteer. This year there are two important ways you can engage with the City: Speak up by voting in the primary and in the general election. The ultimate method of civic engagement is your vote!
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