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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • City Community Forum draws large attendance

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  • In terms of attendance, the best was saved for last in the city of Ardmore's public forums.
    An estimated attendance of 160 gathered for the 2013 City Community Forum, hosted by the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, at the Ardmore Convention Center. Following a lunch, attendees were treated to the familiar format of a presentation followed by an opportunity to meet with city officials and department representatives.
    "We had a good turnout," said Chamber Chairman Bill Dolman. "It was good to have everybody here."
    Dolman said the chamber would begin to receive feedback from chamber members to determine if there needs to be any changes to this year's format.
    Mayor Sheryl Ellis said the city would also look at possible changes, with some already in mind.
    "I think three meetings in a week is too much to ask of city employees," she said.
    Ellis said an alternative would be to spread the forums out through different seasons, with another one possibly taking place at the first of the year. The city will continue to make an effort to schedule the forums in different parts of the city. Room will also be a consideration.
    "At this point, the library may already be too small," Ellis said.
    Ellis and City Commissioner John Moore developed the idea of the town hall meetings as an opportunity to reach out to more citizens. Ellis said she was encouraged by the results.
    "I thought it was great, I just like the grass roots approach," she said. "I have had many positive comments."
    Shaun Geurin, director of utilities, said the forums were an opportunity to meet citizens firsthand. It provided an opportunity for an exchange of ideas, as citizens were able to approach department personnel and discuss their personal interests.
    "We had lots of questions about our projects, and several complaints," Geurin said. "It was a great way for our staff to interact with the public. It was also easy for the public to communicate with us."

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