Coconino County provides many services that are depended on by thousands of residents – whether it’s providing road maintenance and snow plowing, public safety through our Sheriff’s Office and courts, building permits or restaurant inspections.
Yet, the only way that our citizens know about these and many other critical programs is because we are able to communicate to them about the services they have paid for through tax dollars.
Every program we offer is aimed at encouraging community health and vitality, public safety, economic development and recreation. By offering such services, quality of life increases within our county.
To help highlight some of the issues facing the county and the great programs that are available to our residents and business communities, we are planning to restart our Report to Citizens.
Many of you might recall receiving this printed report in your mailbox until 2009, when the publication was halted as we, like so many others, struggled with the economic downturn that struck in 2008.
Since then, many people have asked when the Report to Citizens would return to help share information about the programs, services and news that’s important to our communities.
I’m pleased to report that the Report to Citizens is not only being rebooted, but will be issued twice this year beginning in May. A second report is slated for release in September.
The county is also keeping production of the report local by contracting with a local vendor. Once complete, the Report to Citizens will be mailed to every postal address within the county, including the Navajo Nation.
This publication is just one of the many ways we continue to engage with our residents, business community and the world.
Last month, the county began @Coconino County, a new subscriber-based e-newsletter, which is delivered to email inboxes every other Friday. The e-newsletter is designed to provide quick highlights of news within the county as well as links to useful information.
The public can subscribe to the e-newsletter by visiting the county’s homepage at www.coconino.az.gov. As many business and non-profit organizations know, being able to communicate with your clients is key to staying viable and relevant. The same holds true for government agencies.
Today, newsletters and publications are supplemented by social media websites, where users can get timely information on a broad range of topics. The county’s addition of an e-newsletter complements the organization’s successful Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.
Each account was essentially born through disaster: the 2010 Schultz Fire and subsequent flooding north of Flagstaff. During those events, residents and the media turned to our Facebook (www.facebook.com/coconinocounty) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/coconinocounty) pages for the latest information on both disasters.
Soon after, the county began posting videos on YouTube (www.youtube.com/coconinocnty), where users could view recordings of community meetings and information on how to protect their homes from flooding.
Since that time, the county’s social media sites have flourished with fresh content and new subscribers daily.
Each one of these communication platforms – in addition to this column – are part of our comprehensive effort to help educate our residents about key services and programs offered by the county and act as vehicles of information during emergencies.
Providing this information also helps to ensure our organization is transparent, while striving to meet the diverse needs of our communities. FBN
Cynthia Seelhammer serves as Coconino County manager.