The city has launched a new service that is supposed to let citizens weigh in on various civic matters, using the Internet as a sort of electronic megaphone.
It's called Open Town Hall, and it launched earlier this week with an invitation for people to weigh in on three design options for new signs throughout town. But the electronic town hall system, if it turns out to be successful, could be another way for John and Jane Q. Public to make their voices heard, instead of speaking from a podium at a city council meeting.
"This is a new, convenient way for people to share their ideas and opinions with Walnut Creek leaders," said the city's communications and outreach manager, Gayle Vassar.
The system was developed by Peak Democracy, which is, according to Vassar, a non-partisan organization that specializes in on line government forums. The sites are moderated, creating forums that are, according to the company's web site, "civil, legal and cost effective."
The first forum the city is presenting is the Way Finding system presently being studied. It consists of sign designs and styles that would be employed throughout the city to help people find their way around. An open house was held on these designs last month, and the forum is open to further input from the public through 5 p.m. today (Jan. 4).