County calling 30,000 residents about economy

Phones will ring at 9 this morning across Mesa County as the Mesa County Commission opens its first effort for a telephone town-hall meeting to discuss the western Colorado economy.

About 30,000 people who voted in the past two general elections will be receiving calls, Commissioner Janet Rowland said.

Rowland and Commissioners Craig Meis and Steve Acquafresca, as well as Carter Mathies, an energy-industry observer working with the county, hope to keep as many as 500 people on the line to hear a discussion of economic conditions.

“If this one is successful, we’ll try another one in a month,” Rowland said.

Mesa State College President Tim Foster has used the same telephone town hall approach to discuss fundraising with alumni.

State Sen. Josh Penry and State Rep. Steve King, both Grand Junction Republicans, have used the technique as candidates, Rowland said.

Participants can listen in on the discussions, as well as ask questions.

Listeners who want to ask questions can press the asterisk, or star key, and the No. 3 on the pad, which will direct them to call screeners.

The commissioners will take as many questions as they can, Rowland said.

People who don’t receive the call directly can participate by calling 877-229-8493 and then enter the pin number 14661 at the prompt.

The telephone town hall meeting will cost the county about $2,700, but officials hope to reach more people than they would in a traditional, face-to-face public meeting, Rowland said.


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