I’ve created this new blog called Engage Citizens as I’m shifting more of my Wigley and Associates consulting work to helping local units of government (state, cities, counties, townships, school districts) use online tools and services to—you guessed it—engage citizens.
But it was my consulting contract with City Manager Scott Neal and the City of Edina back in April of 2011 when we created the Edina Citizen Engagement project that helped me see how other local units of government could benefit from something similar.
The Grandview District Development Framework project in particular was enlightening because of how the online tools complemented the face-to-face work of the steering committee, consultants, and city staff over the course of 9 months.
Last summer, I presented and facilitated a session for the League of MN Cities annual conference about my work with the City of Edina titled Government 2.0: New Strategies for Engaging the Public.
One of the people in the audience that day was Northfield City Administrator Tim Madigan who, a few months later, hired me to manage the online engagement for a Developing a parking management plan for downtown.
Shortly thereafter, when I heard that the Northfield Public Schools District had a big project in the works, I approached Superintendent Chris Richardson and HR/Technology Director Matt Hillman about adding an online citizen engagement component. I just finished up the Transformational Technology project for them and this week am starting another online engagement project with them titled A school calendar conversation with the Northfield community.
I’ll continue to post client updates on my Wigley and Associates blog but most of my blogging energy will be devoted to this Engage Citizens blog. I’ve also changed my Twitter name to @EngageCitizens. I’ll tweet all my new blog posts but you can also subscribe to Engage Citizens via email or RSS.
I’ve made copies of citizen engagement-related posts from my Wigley and Associates blog the past two years and added them to this blog.