A connected city is a successful city

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category icon Editorials, Opinion

“A city government that is connected to all facets of its community.”

This description is a major characteristic of any highly successful municipality. A meeting last week in Washougal has the potential to be a step in the right direction toward making this concept a reality.

It’s important to say outright that the process used to call this public meeting — coordinated by four city council members as a “faith-based” gathering rather than being organized by the city and its full city council together as a cohesive unit — remains questionable and at first served to divide rather than bring together.

But if we look past that element of the situation, learn from it and go straight to the substance of the event itself, a real opportunity is revealed. Attendees varied greatly and included representatives from organizations including the Washougal School District, Salvation Army, Children’s Home Society, Affordable Community Environments, Friends of the Washougal Community Library and a handful of local churches. The meeting offered an opportunity to exchange information and ideas about what is happening now, and ways the groups could coordinate in the future.

Now that this initial meeting has taken place, the foundation has been set for what could turn into a grand opportunity to build on relationships, create partnerships and continue to develop a more connected city that uses all of its resources wisely and for the benefit of its residents.

But it will take the continued positive, thoughtful efforts of City Council leaders and enthusiasm and willingness from non-profit and church representatives of the community to make that happen.