Perhaps you've heard this saying: "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time."
This quote – often attributed to Abraham Lincoln but originally said by poet John Lydgate – rings true in local government, which is why ensuring an informed and engaged community is so vital.
The decisions made by the city of Hilliard directly affect the lives of our residents, so Hilliard City Council and city staff members listen closely and consider the interests of everyone in our community when weighing alternatives.
We prioritize the community's safety, health and well-being. We believe in offering services, programs, events and facilities that promote an exceptional quality of life for our residents. We strive to promote local economic vitality while preserving Hilliard's hometown appeal. And we must balance all of this with being prudent fiscal stewards of taxpayer resources.
As we examine the pros and cons of each choice, we want to ensure we are hearing the various perspectives of our community members. To that end, we provide numerous options for residents to offer ideas, concerns and feedback.
Residents may send questions, comments and service requests directly through our website by clicking "Hilliard 311" on our website home page. A mobile app also may be used to make Hilliard 311 service requests.
We commonly receive resident feedback on social media. As we post information to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we leave the door open for civil and respectful discourse. We review all those comments, answer pertinent questions and consider feedback as part of our decision-making process. We also respond to direct messages sent through social media.
Calls and emails
We're always happy to take phone calls and emails. Numbers for the Hilliard Municipal Building, the police division, the recreation and parks department and mayor's court are available on our website, hilliardohio.gov.
Attend a meeting
Our City Council and commission meetings are open to the public. We provide, welcome and encourage ample opportunity for public comment as part of promoting an engaged and informed community that participates in the legislative process. Residents also may watch our council and commission meetings live and as recordings.
Lately, state restrictions on the size of public gatherings have forced us to be creative in this regard. We've used Facebook Live to stream public meetings and allow residents to ask questions and make comments so our elected and appointed officials can include their thoughts in their decision-making. We're certainly looking forward to the day we can once again hold these meetings in City Hall, where residents may attend in person.
Participate in community planning
Later this year, we will begin the processes of creating a new strategic community plan, a recreation and parks master plan and a corridor plan for Cemetery Road. We are identifying opportunities for residents to participate virtually and in person in those processes, so watch for more information coming soon.
Residents' questions, concerns and ideas are extremely important to us. We work on behalf of our residents, and although we can't please "all of the people all of the time," we are committed to including community feedback as we serve our community.
Michelle Crandall is city manager of Hilliard.