The City of Brookings has been successfully engaging citizens in their Council meetings through live and archived webcasting for the past 10 years.
This year, the City of Brookings has added new features to broaden civic involvement in its public meetings online.
Using a simple web-based application, citizens are able to view and submit their opinions on upcoming meeting agenda items from any computer or phone with an Internet connection instead of requiring them to attend the meeting in person to have their voices heard.
“This is a powerful extension of the Council’s desire to make city government, the City Council, and our meetings as accessible as possible for the citizens. Citizens can comment on an agenda item prior and throughout the meeting from the comfort of their home, in order to let the Council Members know how they feel about a particular issue. Government doesn’t get any more responsive and interactive with its citizens than that,” said City Clerk Bonnie Foster.
This tool, called eComment, is provided by Granicus, Inc., a company that provides industry-leading technologies used by thousands of government staff members across the country and helps them to run more efficient and transparent processes. eComment integrates seamlessly with the City’s meeting webcasting solution on the City’s website. Together this product portfolio will help the City empower online audiences to quickly follow and participate in the latest decisions and actions in government from the convenience of their home.
To utilize these new open government features, citizens can log onto https://cityofbrookings.legistar.com/calendar.aspx prior to a meeting, locate the meeting agenda, and click on the eComment link next to the agenda. This takes them to a page
where they can submit their opinions on legislation up for debate. They can then indicate their position on an item and add any additional comments related to that particular item or leave general comments for City staff. Comments can automatically be routed to staff and elected officials, giving the City Council members time to review and consider citizen input prior to, or even during a meeting. Users will be required to set up an account, and finalize the account through an email verification process.
This tool also benefits administrative staff, helping them collect, consolidate, and route citizen feedback through an automated process.
“By providing an electronic way to for citizens to speak at a public meeting, the City will be able to reach a broader segment of their community and hear feedback from more people,” said Michael Ashford, Granicus Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships. “This demonstrates a commitment to strengthening collaboration with citizens and makes the City of Brookings a true leader and innovator with civic technology.”
Live Digital Public Comment Via Zoom Video-Conferencing Software
For members of the community who are not able to attend a meeting to give live public comment in person, the City of Brookings provides the opportunity to give live public comment via Zoom (video conferencing software) during the open forum at City Council meetings. Community members will join the meeting by voice only (video of the comment will not be broadcast) to provide their comments.
If members of the public would like to provide comment in this way, they must register prior to the meeting. To register they may contact the Brookings City Clerk: https://cityofbrookings-sd.gov/cityclerk or register by using the "Live Virtual Public Comment Request" on the Engage Brookings app (available on the app stores or www.engagebrookings.com). Once registered individuals will be provided with the Zoom video conference link and information.
Get the ENGAGE BROOKINGS APP on your mobile device:
Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/engage-brookings/id1499352030
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.cityofbrookings.seeclickfix&hl=en&gl=US