Finding out what is going on in the city of Gearhart got a little easier this month with a new blog being managed by city administrators.
Well before, in the little city of Gearhart, we put notices at the post office, the fire station and City Hall, City Administrator Chad Sweet said. People would be expected to go to one of those places to find information out. It was difficult to notify people. This is an easy tool for the city to keep people informed.
Gearhart Mayor Dianne Widdop brought the idea to Sweet and the council after hearing from a constituent and from some of her own experience.
One of the residents here in town emailed me and said wouldnt this be fun to do? Widdop said. Her idea was to do a real blog, blog. Its all comments from people who are anonymous. She thought that would be really fun to air things out and get things out to the forefront, which it would. But sometimes it gets out that things are inaccurate or semi-obscene - things that you dont want a city site to have. And we thought, we love the blog format, but we want this to be a newsletter.
Widdop said her regular Wednesday morning constituent coffees something she has done since being sworn in last December also led her to the idea.
These have been really successful Wednesday mornings, she said. And then someone said we cant always get in on a Wednesday morning; isnt there some other way we can get into contact to know whats going on?
For those who cant visit with Widdop on Wednesdays, information will be on the blog about whats going on in town, she said. Were trying to keep everybody informed.
So far, the city has used the blog since July 2 to post photos from the Gearhart Fourth of July celebration, agendas for city meetings, Community Emergency Response Team information and tsunami flood maps, among other things.
This is a good way for the residents to know on an almost daily basis if something needs to be out there, Widdop said. As soon as they join the blog, whenever something is posted, they get an email. And we have so many second homeowners here. Regardless of where they live, this tells them whats going on. Were pretty excited about it.
Sweet has been managing the blog alone but will soon have help from Widdop and the citys two secretaries.
Were keeping it very limited as to who can put things on it because we want the right things put on it, Widdop said.
Sweet said the idea is to keep the blog simple with pertinent and important information.
So far, the blog has 10 subscribers Widdop and Sweet hope that number increases in the coming months.
Posts will be made at least weekly and, sometimes, with more frequency. Lately, Widdop said, information has been posted every few days.
Sweet said he and the City Council hope to use the blog as a tool for notifying people and encouraging them to come participate in government meetings and city events.
Really what I want people to do is to come and participate. I want the blog to get people to come to a meeting, Sweet said. Just keep them informed.
The blog can be found by visiting http://cityofgearhart.wordpress.com. A box at the top right hand of the blog allows visitors to put in an e-mail address and receive updates from the city.