MADRAS, OR -- Madras City Councilors, this week, approved the formation of a new committee to help increase communication between city leaders and residents. Mayor Royce Embanks says the City Council is finally made up of both men and women, several of whom are from different ethnic backgrounds. But he still believes city leaders can do a better job reaching the various groups represented in the community.
Embanks says he and Councilor Denise Piza came up with the idea for the Community Advisory Committee during discussions about the legal status of some residents and the 2020 census, "We wanted to try and get a committee together that would help us disseminate information throughout the community because, constantly I hear from people, 'Oh, I didn't know about that!' even though it was in the paper or in the news. So, it's another form of communication and it's another form of self-examination of the city to see that we're doing the right thing." He tells KBND News, "We’re trying to get a real diverse group of people together, that we can bring questions to and to use them to disseminate information to the community."
Mayor Embanks says he'd like to see the committee made up of people from the city’s different ethnic and socio-economic populations, as well as a variety of ages, "Often in the City Council, we don’t have representation of young mothers and young fathers because they’re busy working and they don’t have time to come in. So, we want to try and reach as many people as we can." And, he adds, "We want to recruit one person not within the city limits, but within our zip code." He says those people often work in Madras, and are impacted by city decisions, yet can’t vote in city elections.
City Councilors will nominate potential members. Embanks is running for City Council in November and he would like to have the group in place before he steps down as Mayor, "We’ll have seven people; they’re elected or chosen for a two-year term."