Distler launches Third Thursdays community meetings
Shawnee Beginning next week, the city of Shawnee and Mayor Michelle Distler will launch a new program called Third Thursdays with the Mayor, which will give citizens an opportunity to engage with their city's mayor and government.
The idea came from months of brainstorming by Distler and other people throughout the city. Distler has spent her first couple of months in office touring various city departments, visiting local businesses and talking with residents. Through these conversations, she has come to understand some things that she thinks could help open the city government to the people of Shawnee.
"One of the commitments I made when I became mayor was to continue to make our city government as open, friendly, and accessible as possible," Distler said. "Third Thursdays is a great opportunity to connect with our residents face to face so we can provide them with what's going on in the city in addition to listening to their thoughts and concerns."
The first Third Thursday will take place at 9 a.m. July 16, a Thursday, at the Shawnee Civic Centre, 13817 Johnson Drive.
The hour and day were chosen because Distler has spent time with many older and retired residents both during her campaign and as mayor and they expressed that they feel that they don't get enough information from the city. Distler said these meeting are not the end-all-be-all and she is continuing to work to find ways to meet with every demographic in the city.
Distler said she hopes to begin programs in the evenings or on weekends where she can meet and speak with as much of the population as possible. The goal, she said, is to foster the conversations that can lead to better understanding and even improvement within the city and within the community.
"There's always room to improve," Distler said.
Third Thursdays with the Mayor are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the city of Shawnee at 913-631-2500.