Archive for Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mayor eager to hear views of more Basehor residents

January 17, 2007

From recycling to road maintenance, Basehor Mayor Chris Garcia has heard it all.

And he wants to hear more.

The Mayor Citizen's Forum -- two hours in the evening set aside every month for community members to talk to the mayor about concerns -- began in July, and Garcia said people have come to talk with him every month except November.

"When we had the first one, people assumed that I would just talk to the group," he said. "But they can sit down with me, one-on-one, and I will listen to them. Sometimes there has only been one person and I sat down and talked to them for two hours."

Most of the inquiries from the forums are passed onto city department heads, he said. They report back to Garcia who said he does his best to get back to that specific citizen within a reasonable amount of time.

Garcia, who is also an operations manager at Elite Electric, has several duties as mayor and he's trying to fill two city vacancies -- one on the Basehor Planning Commission and another on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

But he said despite his busy schedule he makes an effort to be available to citizens by being at city hall every day.

"I try to come in on my lunch hour for at least 15 minutes and in early afternoon," he said. "So most every day I'm down here."

The mayor encourages residents to continue attending the monthly forums and emphasized that he is also available to speak with residents at other times as well. He said he makes it a point to pass out his card and make his home and work phone numbers as well as e-mail address available to everyone.

"I think overall it's been good," Garcia said about the forum attendance. "But I think the word needs to get out a little bit more that I'm available anytime for a one-on-one. I'm more than willing to do that anytime, but this is just the scheduled time."

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