PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County commissioners have scheduled a series of community meetings to allow constituents to ask questions about county government and discuss the issues.
The first meeting will take place at 7 tonight at the Cape George Fire Hall, 3850 Cape George Road.
“The primary focus of the meetings is to allow those in other areas of the county to meet with elected officials and give us feedback about how we are doing,” said county Administrator Philip Morley, who will facilitate the meetings.
The two-hour sessions will offer a “quick snapshot” of county issues, followed by an “issue mapping exercise,” where people write down their questions on index cards and sticky notes before they are grouped into similar topics, Morley said.
The longest segment of the meeting will be 80 minutes devoted to a question-and-answer session based on the topics selected during the issue-mapping exercise.
Morley said the community meetings will differ from the public comment segments appended to the beginning of each regular commissioners meeting.
“The commissioners will be out in the community and will be more accessible to the public, and we will reach a different group than those who usually come to the meetings,” he said.
The meetings will be audio-recorded, and any questions that cannot be answered on the spot will be noted for a follow-up, Morley said.
“We will pay attention to all the issues that are raised,” he said.
“We may hear things that we have not heard before.”
Morley said he hopes other elected officials also will attend, as well as county staff “who are free to attend on their own time.”
Future meetings, which will begin at 7 p.m., are set:
■ April 27, Brinnon Community Center, 306142 U.S. Highway 101.
■ May 4, Coyle Community Center, 923 Hazel Point Road.
■ June 7, Hoh Tribal Center, 2464 Lower Hoh Road in the West End.
Morley said attendance can’t be predicted and can range from 20 people to more than 100 at a time,
He is hoping for something in the upper range of those numbers.
“Dialogue is a good thing for both the commissioners and the public, and we hope people come,” he said.
________Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie. firstname.lastname@example.org.