City focuses on public communication

City administrators say they want to better communicate with Grand Haven residents — and, to do it, they’ve turned to Grand Haven High School students.
Alex Doty
Jan 23, 2014

The city will use the school’s video production class to create five informational episodes on topics ranging from public utilities to parks and recreation.

“I try to mimic the Sunday morning TV shows," City Manager Pat McGinnis said. "... I’ll sit there as a moderator and ask (the participants) questions.”

McGinnis said he gives his guests a general idea of what will be discussed so they can develop some talking points.

This is the second year the city has broadcast the episodes.

“We did a slate of four (last year),” McGinnis said. “We started it as a part of (City Council's) 2012 goal setting, which was communication and transparency. Now it is part of this year’s goals to continue that.”

McGinnis said it usually takes two weeks for the school to edit and present the episodes to the city.

“I’ve carefully selected council members for each segment,” McGinnis said. “They like talking about their favorite 'pet' areas of the city, and this gives them that soapbox.”

As an example, McGinnis said he’d have Councilman Dennis Scott talk with a public works official, given his background with the department. Councilman Mike Fritz would talk about his interests in the city's parks and recreation.

“It’s just another vehicle (to deliver information), and it does show on our cable channel,” McGinnis said. “It’s just like a meeting on tape.”

The episodes will also be shown this year on the city’s website and YouTube channel.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

Karingh

LOVE the concept...however, sorry, sounds BBOORRIINNGG.....there are other people in the city, besides councilmen who probably have much more exciting, fresher, newer things to discuss about the city. Such as the chef from Porto Bella, he's always featured on WZZM13, ect....The councilmen already have their "soap box" being council members. Reach out the REAL people in the city. My guess is your You Tube viewership will be pretty low. This is only MY little opinion as a 40 something GH "lifer"

jlebrasseur

Something like this? It was shot several years ago, is horribly outdated, and there have been a LOT of new and interesting stories from the fountain since, but I agree, it would be nice to learn about people in this community (or even those employed by the city who are simply taken for granted by 90% of the people) and what they do.

http://vimeo.com/12304690

Karingh

yes...all things GH...not just a "CBS Sunday Morning" type show where they sit there and talk...SHOW people what THEY want to see and hear about GH.....maybe a weekly local business owner or manager spotlight to discuss exciting things happening with them

christopher

When I first started reading this article I thought "great idea" but it quickly became clear that the attitude around this project is a bit out of whack. Consider these quotes:

They like talking about their favorite 'pet' areas of the city, and this gives them that soapbox. -- This sounds like "special interest" propaganda for the "elite". Why not talk with the commoners / everyday people of the city. Good ideas are not limited to the elite.

"he gives his guests a general idea of what will be discussed so they can develop some talking points." --- We don't need more TALKING POINTS we need more straight talk. If we want talking points we will listen to the DC elite.

I LOVE this city, but this sort of attitude is very disturbing.

christopher

When I first started reading this article I thought "great idea" but it quickly became clear that the attitude around this project is a bit out of whack. Consider these quotes:

They like talking about their favorite 'pet' areas of the city, and this gives them that soapbox. -- This sounds like "special interest" propaganda for the "elite". Why not talk with the commoners / everyday people of the city. Good ideas are not limited to the elite.

"he gives his guests a general idea of what will be discussed so they can develop some talking points." --- We don't need more TALKING POINTS we need more straight talk. If we want talking points we will listen to the DC elite.

I LOVE this city, but this sort of attitude is very disturbing.

Karingh

my thoughts exactly

bigdeal

It's a freebie for them. Why spend money for a real production when you can spin you web for free?

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