Working to communicate with all residents

  • Friday, February 21, 2020 1:30am
  • Opinion

It may only be February, but some great things are already happening in Covington in 2020. In January, we welcomed three new council members to the city family and proceeded to host our annual City Council Summit. The Summit is the perfect opportunity for city council to reviews goals, discuss policies and projects and outline where we would like the next year to take us. Additionally, the groundhog didn’t see its shadow, so I’m crossing my fingers that spring will soon be upon us!

Now that 2020 is fully underway, there’s no better time to revisit the importance of communicating with our residents. It is also important to understand communication is a two-way street. Just as it is important for the city to hear from its residents, it is important for residents to hear from the city. And, as a city, we need to continue to find new and improved ways to keep communication flowing and responsive.

This regular Mayor’s Corner article in the Covington Reporter is one way that I like to keep you informed of what is important and happening in Covington. But, there are many other ways to keep tabs on what is happening in your city, to share your thoughts and opinions, and to contact us when you need to.

You likely know that the city has a website at www.covingtonwa.gov, but, how often do you visit it? Our website contains just about everything you would need to know about your city — our type of government, news and special events, a public calendar, department information, how to get permits, information on developments and projects, resident tools, information on operating a business, and much, much more.

Some key features of the website for keeping residents informed include the e-notify subscription tool, the public calendar, and the news section. To find these features, visit www.covingtonwa.gov/getnews. Here you can also sign up for e-notify and pick and choose which pages of the city’s website you would like to subscribe to and receive text or email notifications when updates are made or information is added.

Also online, the city has several social media accounts that make it very convenient for residents to stay connected socially and on their mobile devices. The city’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CityofCovington) is the most active of our social accounts and is a great way to learn about important news, events, meetings and even emergencies. Facebook messaging is also a great way to reach city staff fairly quickly if you have a question or want to share something with us. Additionally, the city operates a Twitter account (@CovingtonWash) and manages an agency account on Nextdoor (City of Covington).

Our Covington Connects mobile app and online portal is ideal for reporting city issues. This tool allows users to report an issue like potholes, illegal parking, dumping, suspected code violations, etc., with the convenience of their phone or tablet. The report gets processed right into our work order system and assigned to the appropriate department for investigation. Users can also opt-in to be kept updated on the progress of the report. The app can be accessed by visit www.covingtonwa.gov/covingtonconnects or by visiting the app store on Apple or Android devices and searching for “Covington Connects”.

If you’d prefer the opportunity to speak to your councilmembers face-to-face, there are also several options. With few exceptions, city council meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at City Hall and there are two opportunities during each meeting for members of the public to comment to the city council.

We know public meetings and public speaking aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so your council members also strive to attend most city events and make ourselves available for conversations with residents. I will be starting the Mayor’s MeetUp, a more regular but informal gathering opportunity for residents to

spend time with myself and city council members in a relaxed setting to get to know us, ask questions and discuss important topics. Our first Mayor’s MeetUp will be held from 12 – 2 p.m. on March 1 in the Covington Community Room at 16720 SE 271st St. in Covington.

While we want to make sure you have as much as you can about the city at your fingertips, we also hope that you will help keep us informed of issues that we may not be aware of. As you participate in conversations, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you observe comments or discussions, whether on social media pages or at neighborhood gatherings, regarding safety issues, service problems or quality of life issues that the city should be aware of and should address. We appreciate your eyes in places we may not or cannot be.

If you would like to get in touch with the city, please don’t hesitate to call 253-480-2400, email citycouncil@covingtonwa.gov, or private message any of our social media accounts. For those of you who I haven’t met yet, I hope to meet you at the upcoming Mayor’s MeetUp, a council meeting or a city event!


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