Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Community Engagement Committee Provided Valuable Feedback to the City

The Community Engagement Committee recently provided feedback and discussed their goals for the future.

Committee Chairwoman, Sherry Berman shared the committee’s annual report outlining their 2018 accomplishments, recommendations for advancement and the annual review of the SPIN Neighborhood Maps.

According to the CEC’s annual report in the last year, the committee has served as a focus group for Champions Club, Emergency Management and the Eye on Water App. The committee also provided comments for the Youth Master Plan, a plan that identifies opportunities to engage with parents as well as business partners, educators and administrators, civic leaders and volunteers in the community on topics related to youth.

The CEC suggested a modification to the communication for SPIN call notifications, so they do not reference SPIN Neighborhoods, but reference cross streets and landmarks instead. “We found that not everyone knows their SPIN neighborhood, so making this change allow residents to better understand the location of the new developments,” said Chairwoman Berman at the Feb. 19 City Council meeting.

In conjunction with their other responsibilities, the CEC evaluated the 2017 Engagement Survey Results and learned more about the City’s current use of technology and social media for engagement purposes.

“The committee has been dedicated to creating a sustainable engagement program that gives tools to the community to help residents communicate and explore topics that would be beneficial to the City and citizens,” said CEC City Liaison Lauren LaNeave. They gather information by working with City departments as a focus group and serve as a citizen voice to provide feedback on a variety of services. It also builds a culture of neighborhood involvement.

The CEC developed in late 2013 after City Council decided to evolve the SPIN program into two key roles: one focused on communication and one on engagement. The purpose of both roles was to provide a more comprehensive focus for community involvement.

The committee consists of seven Southlake residents appointed by City Council. Their core functions can be broken into three main key components: to push information, gather information and technology and research & improvement. In pushing information, the CEC supports City communication by acting as social media ambassadors by sharing communication. The committee is also charged with researching and exploring technology that would improve Citizen Engagement.

City Manager Shana Yelverton thanked Chairwoman Berman for the committee’s assistance. “On behalf of the staff, I want to thank you Sherry and also the committee,” said Yelverton. “We’ve worked very closely with them to test certain technologies.”  Yelverton goes on to say that the CEC is one of the reasons why Champions Club will have outstanding customer service.

“They have been a big part of why we’re going to be able to have exceptional customer service whenever we open Champions Club, so all of the things that you’ve mentioned have been very helpful,” she continues,”To be able to go to them and say can you be a test group for us while we’re trying to roll out this new technology or were looking at this process has really been invaluable.”

To learn more about the Community Engagement Committee please visit us online.