Thursday, June 22, 2000

Council to pitch a tent




By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CLEVES — Village Council is taking its meetings on the road. Literally.

        Beginning with its Wednesday, meeting, council will conduct one of its two monthly meetings on a street in the village that will be blocked off to traffic.

        Council will set up three banquet tables, bring folding chairs and set up a tent covering and hope residents respond by attending. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the block bounded by West Scott and Porter streets, near the Municipal Building.

        “We'll be letting people literally walk out their front door and come on down,” said Councilman Larry Loebker.

        The whole idea is to make council more accessible to village residents, and some council members think that holding the meeting outdoors on village streets in their own neighborhoods is even more inviting than a public building.

        An amplifier is being provided by a neighbor, and council is hoping a “friendly neighbor” near West Scott and Porter will let them use an outlet to plug in the equipment.

        “We don't want this to be too technical,” said Mr. Loebker. “Less is better. We want people to feel comfortable, to come down and chat with us.”

        Another reason for the outdoor, neighborhood meetings is to encourage residents to get involved in the community, to volunteer for different functions and activities in the village.

        Councilman Ron Bowling also proposed moving the second of the two monthly meetings to the Miami Township Hall on North Miami Avenue. Council now meets at its Municipal Building.

        Mr. Bowling said they are thinking of going door to door in the neighborhood to let residents know of the outdoor meeting. They chose West Scott and Porter because it is one of the older sections of this village of 2,300.

        “We have a couple of goals,” said Mr. Loebker. “One is to understand what may be gnawing at some residents, if they have any issues or concerns. Second, we need volunteers. We need people who not only just say there is a problem, but want to be part of the solution.”

       



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