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City goals for improved communications

By Steve Baska

A representative of a new communications firm hired by the Castle Pines City Council discussed goals with the council on March 11.

Council hired Slate Communications out of Ft. Collins on February 25. Depending upon the amount of work to be done, up to $6,400 per month was allocated, for an annual contract of $76,800.

Kim Newcomer, a principal of the firm, told the council she has four communications areas to work on: improving the city website, increasing electronic communications with residents, better media relations to get more information to the media, and targeted “community engagement” to connect more with residents.

Referring to the city’s website, she said “My firm will do a complete evaluation. We will then recommend how best to proceed. That may be improvements to the current site, or it may be developing a new website.” Councilmember Resa Labossiere said she hopes the city will put more information on its website, including information about when a building permit is needed for changes to homes.

About e-mail blasts to residents who have provided their e-mail addresses on the city’s website, Councilmember Roger Addlesperger said he hopes the city will reach beyond using e-mail. “I’m still concerned there are a lot of people we don’t connect with. Personally, I look forward to The Castle Pines Connection,” said Addlesperger, “because it connects us as a city. It is in Starbucks, King Soopers and other places. It’s still a good source. We should use electronic and traditional means to communicate.”

Councilmember James Einolf agreed. “We should reach out to everyone, not just those who proactively reach out to us (by giving their e-mail addresses on the website). Mayor Jeffrey Huff said there had been no public awareness drive yet to get residents to sign up to receive e-mail blasts called “News and Notes,” and that the city’s Facebook page was also an effort to get the public engaged.

For media relations, Newcomer said she has met with local reporters to find how to best get information to them. About community engagement, Newcomer said she planned to send an online questionnaire to residents to ask their input for how best to keep them engaged and what their areas of interest are, including land use, planning or other topics.

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