Editorial, Fountain Inn, Local

Inn the Know

Shawn Bell

Summer is finally here and this year brings a lot of exciting opportunities to the community. In the upcoming months, the Community Development Department is looking forward to incorporating outreach to the City of Fountain INN. I feel this is a great way to let members of City Council and other local government officials get a better understanding of the needs and wants of the citizens of this community. It is important that everyone feels safe, and that all of our communities are well-designed which ultimately improves the overall quality of life for all residents of Fountain INN. The Community Development Department and I have partnered in creating a vision statement which “is to maintain safety, encourage cultural outreach, economic growth, preservation, and revitalization while delivering services with commitment to excellence.”

We feel government outreach is particularly important in a community as close-knit as Fountain INN. Our elected officials and staff not only want to hear the residents’ interests, but also to connect these ideas and give citizens the opportunity to become involved in their local government. City Council and other elected officials are bringing a new program to the city called “Coffee with Council.” Starting in July, Council Members will be hosting monthly, informal meetings to create an opportunity to update the community on events, programs, and other information on what is going on in our local government. Our hope is that this program will give citizens who may have scheduling conflicts and cannot attend evening council meetings another opportunity to hear what is going on in the City.

We are also excited to begin another outreach program starting in the fall where members of our local government will begin partnering with neighborhoods, civic groups, and non-profits in an informal setting to hear the concerns of all residents of the City of Fountain INN at their convenience. There is no meeting agenda, just an opportunity for us to get to know you better and likely for you to get to know (or even meet) your own neighbors.

Lastly, in addition to bringing back the #AsktheAdministrator Facebook segment in which the public gets to have a Q&A in real time with me via social media, I will also be starting monthly mobile office hours. I understand sometimes it may be inconvenient or intimidating for individuals to have to come to City Hall to ask questions or discuss a topic. With mobile office hours, I will publicize in advance where I will be during a certain time to meet with citizens. I hope to see you at local businesses, parks, city facilities, etc.

Our hopes are that by implementing these programs into our community, this will not only improve sustainability, but also improve services that will connect and explore the culture of our City. The officials of Fountain INN are looking forward to hearing the community’s voices!
Shawn Bell is the City Administrator of Fountain INN. For more information, go to http://www.fountainINN.org, call 864-862-4421, or email shawn.bell@fountainINN.org.♦

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