The City of Key West has added a new feature to broaden civic involvement in its public meetings and make voicing their opinion easy and convenient.
Using a simple web-based application, citizens can view upcoming meeting agenda items and submit their opinions on them from any computer or phone with an Internet connection. This enables members of the community to have their voices heard by commission members, city staff and others without having to attend the meeting in person.
This new tool, called eComment, integrates seamlessly with the City’s meeting webcasting solution on the City’s website. Together this product portfolio will help the City empower online audiences to quickly follow and participate in the latest decisions and actions in government from the convenience of their home.
To utilize this new open government feature, citizens can log onto cityofkeywest-fl.gov prior to a meeting, and click on “Agendas & Minutes” on the homepage. To submit comments, click the eComment link next to an upcoming meeting’s agenda. One can then indicate their position on an item, add any additional comments related to that particular item or leave general comments for City staff. The City Clerk’s Office will then route comments to staff and elected officials, giving City Commission members time to review and consider citizen input prior to a meeting.
The eComment feature also allows members of our community to sign up to speak on a particular item ahead of the live meeting. The traditional sign-up list will of course still be available as it currently is, it will just have a previously generated list of speakers from our online sign-up to add to.
“At the request of Mayor Johnston, the City Clerk’s Office and the City’s IT department collaborated to provide another way for citizens to have a voice at our public meetings, outside of our traditional means of sending emails or signing up to speak at the meeting. We are excited to reach a broader segment of our community and hear feedback from more people,” says Mayor Johnston.
The City of Key West will launch eComment on the City’s website February 27th to begin receiving input for the March 5th City Commission meeting.