County launches online forum

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Los Alamos County has launched a new online public comment forum called “Open Forum.” Open Forum will be moderated by Peak Democracy and is another tool as the County continues its efforts to expand ways that citizens can voice their opinions about a variety of topics.
County councilors and county staff will review comments and incorporate them into the decision-making process
“We have heard feedback from our residents that more and more of them are interested in the convenience of online public comment forums as an option to attending public meetings,” County Administrator Harry Burgess said. “Open Forum is being established in response to those suggestions, and has the added benefit over sending the county email comments about a project or issue because you will have the ability to see what others are saying about the topic or issue. That is a new feature we have not previously offered in our public participation process. Making it easier for citizens to participate in the county decision-making process from the privacy and convenience of their own home is important to ensuring that the county’s decisions reflect public opinion.”
The first topic posted on Open Forum asks: “What do you think about the proposed renovations at Ashley Pond Park?” The project is currently at the 30 percent design stage after the council approved the conceptual design and $2.2 million budget last May. Residents can read what others are saying about the proposed renovations, and share their own opinion. The new feature can be accessed through the “Open Forum” link on the county’s home page at losalamosnm.us — it can be found next to the “Sunshine” icon under Helpful Links.
Other topics and projects will be featured on Open Forum in the coming weeks. The new forum is being considered a pilot project for one year to gauge citizen reaction and use.