AP NEWS

Longmont Launches Community-engagement Website

April 5, 2019

“Engage Longmont”

Website: engage.longmontcolorado.gov

Longmont has launched a new city government website that officials said is intended “to increase communication between residents and local government.”

“Engage Longmont” will provide an online opportunity for people to learn more about city projects and programs, to see what their fellow residents are talking about, and to make their own opinions and suggestions known, according to a Friday news advisory announcing the website’s availability.

“The key thing is that we really want our community involved and to make sure that we get as many people involved as possible,” city communications manager Marijke Unger said in an interview.

Unger said city officials recognize that not everyone can take the time to show up at City Council meetings or attend open houses or other city-sponsored gatherings to see presentations and comment on pending projects an programs.

Engage Longmont will be a “convenient, easy, accessible” way for people to follow and make observations about those projects and programs and issues facing the council and staff, she said.

“Longmont has a standing commitment” to the values of empowering community discussion and debate, Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley said in a statement.

“We are excited to implement a tool that makes it easy and quick for any member of the community to share their best ideas and feedback, at their convenience and whenever their schedule allows,” Bagley said

The website itself — engage.longmontcolorado.gov — says Longmont residents can use it to take “a deeper dive on a wide variety of civic topics.”

“This is a new way for you to provide your input to elected officials and city staff quickly and easily,” website visitors are told.

“Traditional public engagement usually involves attending public meeting or providing written submissions to the City Council, and this can often be time consuming and inconvenient, and sometimes intimidating,” the website says.

“Engage Longmont gives you the opportunity to have your say on issues that are important to you, at a time and place of your choice.”

Engage Longmont’s home page includes chances for people to learn and comment about the city’s Main Street Corridor Plan, about an evaluation that’s underway of the Button Rock Preserve west of Lyons, about the local public-access television programs currently provided by the Longmont Cable Trust, about transportation planning and projects, about participating in or organizing neighborhood groups and about updates being made to Longmont’s Wildlife Management Plan.

People who sign up and register for future notifications can indicate topics they’d be most interested in, including: community and neighborhood programs; the environment and conservation; sustainability; public safety; recreation, parks and trails; transportation, and the city’s water, wastewater, electric and trash collection services.

Officials said registration is not required for people to view Engage Longmont but will be necessary for anyone wanting to submit comments or participate in “many of the more interactive engagement opportunities.”

Registration “helps ensure that a broader set of perspectives have an opportunity to be represented by attributing feedback and frequency of feedback to individuals. It promotes accountability and encourages people to provide more thoughtful responses because feedback can be attributed to them,” officials said.

Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc