City officials to discuss goals, strategies at public session

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Elaine Blaisdell, 1/22/11

Cumberland Times-News


CUMBERLAND - The Cumberland mayor and City Council has scheduled a public work session Tuesday to discuss the future vision for the city and to show their willingness to hear from the public.

"The full council is committed to transparency in government and openness to public input," said Mayor Brian Grim.  "That's why the council established an opportunity to meet in public and set our goals for the next four years, including strategies for meeting those goals."

Councilman Butch Hendershot agreed that engaging the public outside of the "formalities of the council chambers," is a good idea.

"I feel strongly that the more the public can see government in action and participate in government in action, the more trust will develop between citizens, elected officials and government employees," said Hendershot.  "I'm excited about the outcomes that await us."

Grim plans to discuss his goals regarding economic development initiatives, a review of the downtown special taxing district with a tax cut recommendation to follow, the creation of an Environmental Relations Commission targeted with recycling initiatives and green space creation and retention, the elimination of the city's use of tax anticipation notes as a method of remaining financially solvent and a blighted property "amnesty" program to quickly acquire and dissolve significantly blighted properties within the city.

"Every council member will have the opportunity to openly present ideas for moving Cumberland forward over the years to come, followed by brainstorming strategies for achieving those goals," said Grim.

An agenda will be available during the meeting that will afford the public with a chance to speak, provide input and ask questions at the end of the meeting.

"While the primary purpose of the meeting is for the council to establish goals and strategies, all council members are always open to public input via letters and e-mail," said Grim.  "We all welcome and encourage public input."

The meeting will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn.  Light refreshments will be available.

A future public work session will be set to establish strategies, offering a greater opportunity for public input.

"The purpose of the meeting is for council members to communicate ideas; a subsequent meeting will be for public input and comment.  Nonetheless, we are encouraging the public to attend, as we believe it is important for government to meeting in public settings," said Grim.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.