Sedalia City Councilmembers from Wards 1 and 4 are joining together to host a town hall meeting Wednesday at Katy Park Shelter No. 1.
All four councilmembers — Jo Lynn Turley and James Cunningham from Ward 1 and Tollie Rowe and Larry Stevenson from Ward 4 — will be in attendance to hear concerns from their constituents. In an effort to keep the event organized and to allow all the councilmembers to hear what each citizen has to say, there will be a PA system set up at the shelter. Citizens can step up to the microphone and speak on a topic for three minutes.
“We’re going to let the public do the speaking,” Stevenson said. “I’ll open it up with a short welcome speech and then we’ll open up to the public. We ask each and every person that has something to say to come to the microphone. (Councilmember) Bob Cross told me they had a bit of a problem at their town hall meeting, councilmembers were split up into different conversations. To prevent that we ask (citizens) to come up to the microphone.”
Stevenson went on to say attendees are welcome to speak about more than one topic, but the councilmembers ask that everyone focuses on one topic at a time — citizens can speak for three minutes about a specific concern, others with that same concern will be allowed to speak, and then the same process will start over with a new topic.
Stevenson and his fellow councilmembers don’t have a specific list of topics they’d like to cover. Rather, they will let citizens speak about what they feel is important. However, Stevenson said he had a few guesses as to which topics will be discussed.
“I think what has been in the paper (Friday) and on the radio, the ordinance on parking on Broadway, will be one of the hot topics. All four of us will have to answer questions pertaining to that,” he said. “Inspections of rental property has been talked about in the community. It’s a hot subject especially for people with a number of houses. Also this downtown inspection thing, just a combination of a lot of things. We’re looking for a fairly large turnout. I think we’re going to have some pretty open discussion.”
Stevenson told the Democrat Friday afternoon he had already received three phone calls from citizens concerned about the proposed Broadway Boulevard parking ordinance, which the Citizens for a Clean Sedalia Committee voted to recommend to the city council during its meeting on Thursday.
This is the second town hall meeting hosted by various members of the Sedalia City Council, and councilmembers have said these meetings will continue to be hosted more frequently than they had been in the past.
“We need to stay in touch with our ward and the general public,” Stevenson said. “I’m responsible for what goes on in the city. Ward 4 is my primary responsibility, but the whole city is our responsibility. It’s good to get together and discuss what needs to happen in the fourth ward and the city.”
The town hall meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Katy Park Shelter No. 1, located on the corner of 24th Street and Grand Avenue. Seating and bottled water will be provided.