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Polson improves city-to-citizen communication

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POLSON — The City of Polson website and digital communications announced at their Jan. 18 meeting they are getting some much-anticipated improvements. 

Led by Special Projects Manager Tyler Baker and Commissioner Ruggless, Baker has begun work on to improve its existing structure and navigability for the average visitor. What began with the updating of outdated information and the fixing of broken links has led to a much more user-friendly undertaking.

One of the earliest new additions to the website has been the launching of the “Frequently Asked Questions” page, which consists of common questions asked of all city departments, from paying bills online, to finding where to report different violations, and explanations on how the website’s search function works. Visitors can now answer many questions related to city government with just one click. The email subscription service, which allows people to sign up for newsletters about upcoming meetings, job opportunities, bids, emergency notifications, and or news alerts, is now available on the website as well. 

During the commission meeting, further improvements to city-to-citizen communications were also discussed. An educational online newsletter about the inner workings of the many departments of city government was proposed. This proposal could help individuals better understand different commission decisions or explain challenges that may arise in meetings while also clearing up common misconceptions. A Facebook page for all city departments may also be in the future, but that will depend on the development of a communications plan between departments and certain parameters set in place for uniform conduct online. 

“(Baker) is also assisting the Public Works department from a communications standpoint when we have works situations … Tyler is learning how to respond in those situations, gather information, upload it to the website (and) use those alerts. That’s a piece we’ve missed in the past,” City Manager Ed Meece commented. “He’s doing a lot of great things for us.” 

In other news, the commission voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Meece to work with the Montana League of Cities and Towns on supporting certain positions in the legislature on behalf of the City of Polson. 

A nonpartisan nonprofit organization, the Montana League of Cities and Towns is meant to work cooperatively between all incorporated municipalities throughout Montana to provide technical support, research, and advocacy at the both the state and federal levels. The League submitted a guide to Polson explaining the legislative goals and positions the League will take during bill proposals throughout the legislative session and for which they would like the city’s support and possible testimony.

Meece requested that when possible, an elected commissioner attend legislative meetings when a bill of particular importance to Polson arises and Polson input is needed. 

The commissioners reviewed the eleven positions submitted to them by the League, and voted that Meece or an elected representative of the City of Polson could express the city’s support for all proposed items except number seven, “Support city of Colstrip and other communities impacted by natural resources industries,” and number nine, “Support for military operations in Montana,” both of which focused on taking action for cities that are not Polson. 

The League’s comprehensive agenda packet can be viewed within the Jan. 18 meeting document at:

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