October 2021 Fort Pierre Mayor's Report
During the last few Council meetings, we received questions from an individual about transparency, so I thought that would be a good topic to cover in this column.
Getting information out to the general population in Fort Pierre has always been a high priority of mine, and is somewhat of a challenge. In the “old days,” everyone read the newspaper so that was an easy call. But now we get our news from a variety of sources; some people read it online, some people rely on the radio, some watch TV, and others read the paper.
In order to try to hit all the bases, we use our Facebook page and web site. In addition, we put together a quarterly newsletter and mail it to every utility customer. I personally am scheduled regularly on the two local radio stations 5-6 times a month, and write a monthly column for the Pierre Area Chamber newsletter and Capital Journal.
The City Council meeting agendas are posted in the Capital Journal, on our website, and on the doors of the Court House (home of City Hall). Approved minutes are printed in the Capital Journal and posted on our web site.
As a staff, we make ourselves available to respond to questions and concerns from the general public and the media. The experience of COVID-19 made it necessary to use teleconferencing and Zoom for our City Council meetings. As a result, we now have the opportunity to make it easier for residents and media to attend the meetings virtually. All you need to participate is a phone.
As a small town, the staff and I are easily accessible at the office or by phone.
The greatest improvement we could make would be to televise our public meetings. I have looked into the cost, both the initial investment and the ongoing production costs, and the Council agreed with me that we don’t have available funds at this time.
I am always open to suggestions for more effective ways to communicate with our residents. My email address is email@example.com.