Mayor Debe Hollingsworth will host a town hall meeting 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center as part of her initiative to give residents the opportunity to converse directly with their political leaders.
Originally scheduled for Jan. 14, the town hall was rescheduled because of inclement weather.
“Sometimes it’s difficult for citizens to arrange a face-to-face visit or even a telephone conversation with their council representatives or mayor, and elected officials often have challenging schedules as well,” she said when first introducing the idea in a previous article. “That’s why I’m excited about the initiation of these town hall meetings. The public needs to be able to speak to us, and we need to be able to hear their concerns and discuss issues with them. I want my administration to be transparent on matters within our city.”
Hollingsworth has said she hopes the town hall meetings will become a monthly tradition. Residents can register to speak as they arrive and will be able to express opinions to or ask questions of the mayor and participating aldermen.
Hollingsworth has said a time limit will be imposed on public speakers so as to allow all persons who wish to comment to have that opportunity.
“We want to hear everyone, but we also realize that we’ll have to conduct the meetings in a manageable time frame,” she said previously. “But we’ll make certain everything is arranged as it should be as we progress.”
Hollingsworth has said she believes the forums will serve to strengthen the bonds among the elected leaders themselves as well as with their constituents.
“Nothing beats open communication,” she said at the time. “I sincerely believe that these town hall meetings can contribute to our city’s positive growth.”