Disaster recovery

Call for an in person public Town Hall Meeting for government, BOE, utilities, and residents along with an in person Q&A

Everyone has been through a rough patch and I am sure the town is doing what it feels is best to deal.  Many in town still have no power and many children are still not back in school.  While it was a nice gesture to have the last town hall conference call, honestly, not much information was given other than PSEG is working on it.  It would be nice to have a town hall meeting specifically related to this topic, where people can come in person and ask specific questions of town officials, other government officials, PSEG, FEMA, the police, fire, and Board of Ed.  The Mayor's voicemail is full and can not accept messages and emails seem to get accumulated, but not responded to.   It seems many of the BOE decisions are dependent upon the town, so a joint meeting would be beneficial.  There are many questions which are unanswered (i.e. power restoration, streets being cleared, schools opening, how days will be made up for school, what Federal and State funding is the town receiving regarding this storm, where is FEMA for those in town without power or heat,  the decision process on opening school, why does the BOE not have any social media outlet to communicate other than personal Facebook and Twitter pages, why was the school District Website down for a week, etc.).  Perhaps residents in town have some out of the box ideas about resolution of some items, as well as preventive measures going forward (i.e. burying the power lines, etc).  How and when can we make this happen?

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Mitch Slater November 08, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Excellent idea Eric the Resident- Though I give props to the Mayor and his staff it is time for a Full Town Hall Meeting to better understand all the issues- The frustration level for all residents (especially those like myself still without power after 11 days) is clearly mounting. As for the BOE -behind the scenes much as been done by Dr. Dolan, President Mattessich, and Mike Morris to get the schools open (finally!)-hopefully the rest tomorrow- but obviously I agree with you on the Social Media front and that is why I and Dave Finn and Mark Friedman were pushing this issue for my 3 years on the Board- Clearly now this must happen and I am certain we will take this up asap- My personal FB page and Twitter accounts can't handle all the trafiic much longer.... The server issue will certainly be looked at closely as well-
Gary McCready November 08, 2012 at 09:10 PM
To be effective, communication should match expectations, and by now, a good portion of the community expects to be contacted via social media. On the other hand, I think the District has been effective in using the Honeywell "robo call" system to inform everyone registered with it to keep the basic information (school or no school) up to date. It should be reported what percentage of the district's families were reached that way. It is interesting to see that the school board president had to become a Patch journalist to use it as a platform for getting more of the message out. The district should have some ability to post information somewhere in the case of an emergency where they fully control the message, format and updates. I would hope the "server" issue resolution includes a backup location somewere (far) offsite that would allow updates to be distributed to the public (even if the website name would have to be spelled out in the phone messages we would get).
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