By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester City Council members are inviting the community to share their ideas, concerns and comments in a new, informal format they hope to make a monthly event throughout the city.
The first Community Coffee will be held on Jan. 26 at the Canal Winchester Rehabilitation Center, 6800 Gender Road, from 9-11 a.m., according to Councilwoman Jill Amos.
“Not everyone can make a Monday council meeting or feels comfortable speaking in front of people,” said Amos. “This will allow us to hear from the community on a personal basis. Did I mention there is free coffee?”
Amos, who is facilitating the event along with Councilman Will Bennett, said t
he intent of the Community Coffee is to engage community members and bring people together in a casual setting.
“It is a place to say hello, share concerns or just tell us their positives about Canal Winchester,” said Amos, who said the informal meetings will be conducted in a casual, open format. “We want people to come in, have coffee, and just talk with us. We will see where it goes from there. We hope that many of our residents will stop out to visit with us.”
Amos said she’s seen a lot of community discussion on local social media sites and hopes many of the same people posting their concerns and issues will attend the monthly event.
“This is an opportunity for our residents to take those conversations to a face-to-face setting,” said Amos. “To my knowledge this has not been done in Canal Winchester before. I believe there are other surrounding cities that are or have done similar programs. “
Bennett and Amos will serve as the initial hosts for the first gathering, with a goal to rotate hosts in future events. While no official action can be taken at the meetings, hosts will share information with residents, notes with fellow council members and city staff and follow-up with residents as the need arises.