Casper City Councilman Jesse Morgan stressed the importance of government transparency at the City Council’s Tuesday night work session.
About 15 constituents attended last week’s Pints and Politics, an event he held at Frontier Brewing Company. The informal gathering was intended to be a fun way for locals to discuss political issues with a representative.
The councilman said attendees expressed concerns about the political process.
“They see it as almost broken,” he said, adding that the City Council must strive to be as open as possible with the public.
Morgan suggested increasing the city’s social media presence as one way to potentially improve communication with citizens.
The councilman said Friday that he was pleased with the event’s turnout. Attendees asked for more information on a variety of issues, including the city’s recent sale of two buildings on Ash Street and the possibility of employing full-time judges at the Municipal Court.
Morgan added that he will be meeting with Boy Scouts at Crescent Moon Coffee Stop at 11 a.m. Saturday. Although answering their questions will be his priority, others are also welcome to attend.
Councilman Dallas Laird also called for some changes Tuesday night.
City Council members commonly serve on various boards or committees in Casper to help the group stay well-informed about community issues, but Laird complained that these members don’t always provide enough feedback to the rest of the group.
“I think you should report to the Council what you learn without us having to beg and ask,” he said.
Noting that some Council members serve on the same board for years, Laird also suggested switching members out to prevent any potential biases from forming.
Councilman Bob Hopkins, who serves on three boards, said Thursday that he thinks the current system is effective. Those who serve on committees relay any important messages back to the Council and others can always ask additional questions.
“I’ve been on Council for five years now and you do learn some things,” he said. “You don’t walk in and know how the city works overnight.”
Casper Mayor Ray Pacheco, who held a town hall for youth in October, said Wednesday that a follow-up session is slated for Feb. 1 at the YMCA. Young people are encouraged to attend and share their opinions about the community.
Pacheco previously told the Star-Tribune that he believes it’s important for politicians to engage the city’s younger residents.
“I think sometimes kids do get a bad rap, but I’ve always felt like the youth are a lot wiser than we give them credit for,” he said.
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