When candidates win elections, they carry the public’s support as they assume the responsibilities of elective office.
However, public support may wane if people think their views are not being heard in the halls of power.
The new Rock Falls mayor, Bill Wescott, plans to make sure the public’s voice is heard.
Wescott, who took the oath of office Tuesday, said he wants to form a citizens advisory committee. He expects to send letters to prospective members next month.
The citizens advisory committee would exist to give Wescott’s administration feedback on issues of importance to city government. Such feedback should prove valuable as Wescott settles into the mayor’s chair.
Wescott has another plan in mind to improve communication with residents.
He hopes to convene City Council meetings where no action will be taken, but where aldermen simply have an “open discussion” about the issues that face the city.
The public, of course, would be welcome to attend those committee-of-the-whole meetings so that they can become informed about council members’ views and the reasoning behind them.
While issues are already discussed in committee meetings, Wescott said, few residents attend them, thus his committee-of-the-whole idea.
To reach a wider audience, Wescott should consider having those “open discussion” meetings televised on the Rock Falls cable channel, the same as regular city council meetings.
Of course, the public can always provide feedback through telephone calls, visits to city hall, letters to the mayor, and emails, not to mention letters to the editor.
With a bow toward greater public involvement and openness, Mayor Wescott has begun his term on the right track. We hope improved public feedback brings about an improved city government.