Friday, May 5, 2006

Come hungry, come inquisitive

Sun Valley mayor kicks off brown-bag lunches with public

Express Staff Writer

Whether residents are unaware of the opportunity for public comment at the beginning of every City Council meeting, or they just don't like the formality of it, Sun Valley Mayor Jon Thorson is offering another chance for people to speak their minds.

A monthly brown-bag lunch symposium will ensure residents get answers they need to any questions on their minds, the mayor said Thursday.

"It's for citizens to come in and have lunch, and talk about anything they want to talk about," Thorson said.

The mayor said public officials do listen to constituents.

One resident told him the Old Dollar Road bridge the city put in doesn't match the area's character and is ugly.

"And it is," Thorson said. "It's not the wooden bridge it was."

He said public comments help city officials better represent residents' concerns. He hopes more people will become involved through the lunch sessions.

"It'll be an opportunity to express opinions on likes, dislikes, and things that are of interest to them," he said. "It's a casual, come-on-over-and-talk-with-the-mayor lunch," he said.

Residents are advised to bring their own lunches, but beverages will be supplied.

Thorson said he got the idea from Jackson, Wyo., Mayor Mark Barron, who said his own brown-bag lunches with the public have been successful.

The lunch sessions will be at noon the third Thursday of every month at Sun Valley City Hall. They should last approximately one hour.

The inaugural lunch will be May 18.

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