County hosting town hall meeting by telephone today

Ever thought about giving those folks down at the county seat a piece of your mind about how they are spending your tax dollars?

Today, you can sound off (actually the county is encouraging you to) and have your coffee at the same time. Starting at 9 a.m., residents of Mesa County may call in and participate in the county’s second telephone town hall meeting. A limited, random sample of registered voters in the county automatically will be called and asked to participate.

The county wants to know how it should prioritize its 2010 budget.

“Last time we actually had 7,000 people participating, at least initially,” said Jessica Peterson, county spokeswoman.

The county actually found that 1,500 residents remained on the line for the duration of the call.

To manage the onslaught of opinions, those who want to ask a question will be prompted to push the appropriate numbers on their phone’s key pad. But if you just want to listen in, that is OK.

“It is kind of like a radio call-in show in a way,” Peterson said.

The county budget is expected to take a hit next year.

“Certainly we are expecting our budget is going to be tight in 2010,” County Administrator Jon Peacock said. “That makes it extremely important that we prioritize services for funding that we know citizens want and need.”

Residents also will be asked to give their opinion on a variety of subjects during the meeting, said Commissioner Janet Rowland, who will be hosting the forum.

“The polling information, I think, is going to be very important to us,” Rowland said.

Once again, residents will have the option of participating in the polls or just listening to the conversation. The results of each poll will be revealed during the call.


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