A lot is happening in Lakeway, and we know you want to get involved, so put your glossophobia aside and speak up.
Do you remember that good ole TxDOT FM620 Feasibility Study we chatted about back in 2016?
Come on. It was beyond exciting. I should know because I wrote it. Seriously, a gripping read.
What about buildings?
Yes, we mean real structures — either commercial or residential — in Lakeway.
What about wildlife?
Remember the suspension of the Trap, Transport and Process program in Lakeway?
Let’s start at the beginning
In glancing at the City of Lakeway calendar, I realized the timing was perfect to mention all of the various meetings that are taking place over the next few days.
Because people often reach out to Todd and me about “doing more” or asking how to “get involved” about specific topics.
I reached out to my friend Devin Monk, CPC, Communications Coordinator for the City of Lakeway to kick around a few ideas.
We both agreed lots of people talk about doing more or getting involved locally on the things they feel passionate about, but even though they have good intentions, they often fail to execute on the actionable items.
Then I asked Devin my big question, “Why?”
Don’t be scared
I’ve known Devin for many years, so it didn’t bother me at all when he answered my question with a question of his own. Besides, I knew where he was headed, so it all made sense. We were both kidding, but also kind of serious in a matter-of-fact way.
“What’s the number one thing people are most afraid of?”
Could it be as simple as residents want to be heard, but they are just overwhelmed and scared by the process of speaking up?
Glossophobia — the fear of speaking publicly — is a real thing. Plus, it’s kind of embarrassing and awkward to embark on a journey in civil government if you don’t know how things work. After all, there are lots of processes and procedures.
So what if we knew what to do, would that help?
The dialogue is there if you want to talk
Without getting too technical, I’ll give you a quick neighborly summary of how participation might work.
First, if you want the information, you have to be willing to look for it. Along those lines, if you’re going to talk about it, you can find those conversations. If your discussion isn’t happening, you can start it.
In Lakeway, citizens have always been welcome to participate in meetings. Agendas are posted at least 72 hours before the meeting online or at City Hall.
In every agenda, you’ll see a “Citizens Participation” line item. This is where you can speak out about a particular topic or a specific agenda item.
If you speak, you will typically be limited to three minutes. The “back and forth” dialogue will be limited, but that’s due to laws, not anything personal.
Remember, this is your chance to be heard, not to spark a debate. If your points or questions need to be discussed further, that will happen after the meeting, so don’t get discouraged.
TxDOT Open House
If you’re curious about what’s next for road improvements on FM 620 S., tonight there’s an Open House hosted by TxDOT to do exactly that.
Project team members involved in the road improvements along FM 620 S. between SH 71 and Hudson Bend Road will be at the Lakeway Activity Center to walk you through it and answer your questions.
City Building Commission Regular Meeting
Ever wonder how decisions are made about new buildings or structures?
This is precisely what’s on the agenda for Lakeway’s City Building Commission meeting on Thursday. They’ll be chatting about covered breezeways and view-blocking determinations. As always, there’s time on the agenda for citizen participation.
Wildlife Advisory Committee Meeting
This was a very hot topic locally (and nationally), but steps are being taken to remedy the community’s concerns. Lakeway’s ‘Trap, Transport and Process’ program was suspended by city officials on August 20.
Last month, Lakeway City Council voted to move forward with hiring a wildlife biologist, Warren Bluntzer. The agenda for Lakeway’s Wildlife Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday includes a presentation by Bluntzer.
Public Engagement Advisory Committee Meeting
And speaking of public participation, this is a committee that was established in 2017 to assist with improving public input and participation.
For the purpose of this discussion, “public engagement” is quite literally defined to include “public participation,” “community engagement,” “citizen engagement,” “public hearing,” and “public comment.”
If you’d like to take your civics education one step further, the rest is up to you. As Devin pointed out, anyone is welcome to walk in and ask a question or email city council members.
Do you have questions about how your local city government works? Let us know in the comments section on our Facebook page.