City of Charleston seeks citizen involvement for future of the area

City of Charleston seeks citizen involvement for future of the area
Online platform gives descriptions of boards, committees, and commissions within the City of Charleston (Source: Live 5)
Online platform gives descriptions of boards, committees, and commissions within the City of Charleston (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The city of Charleston is looking for citizens who are willing to help shape the future of the area.

A new website launched Tuesday gives people in the community an opportunity to join the city's boards, committees and commissions.

"This new system is a huge step forward for transparency, accountability and citizen action here in the city of Charleston," said Mayor John Tecklenburg.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 33 people had applied to the various positions within the city's 40+ groups.

It's still in its early stages, but Tecklenburg is excited to see a new wave of ideas come to the city.

"We want our citizens to be engaged and to participate," he added.

The boards, committees, and commissions range from design review to bicycle and pedestrian advisory committees.

As a result, anyone has the opportunity to apply for a position in the groups.

"[It] ensure that more of our citizens will be able to have a real say in their own future, and in the future life of our city," Tecklenburg said. "We're asking folks when they apply to give us their resume of their background and information about them. In cases where more than one person is applying we'll have to review applications and some require city council approval as well."

"I think that's a great idea," said Rebecca Whitmen, of West Ashley.

Among the new groups forming include the West Ashley Revitalization Commission.

Tecklenburg said the group was formed before the website launched, but is already seeing promising numbers.

"We've had a ton of interest from citizens that want to serve and help in the revitalization of West Ashley," he said.

"It's excellent… any kind of local resources we can have for our community here in West Ashley," Whitmen said. "Obviously things are growing, so is our community, our schools, so any kind of links people have to get us that access is super helpful."

Other ideas citizens would like to see happen include a bike and walk lane across the Northbridge, which connect West Ashley to North Charleston.

"I think letting people know what's going on is very important," said Calvin who lives in West Ashley.

The cloud-based tools will improve the city's efficiency by simplifying the process of managing appointments, advertising opportunities to serve and the application process for boards, committees and commissions.

The platform will remain in beta for the first several months, as improvements continue to be made. The public is encouraged to make recommendations and suggest improvements to the platform.

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