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How Boone Goes the Extra Mile To Make Resident Voices Heard

May 10, 2021
How Boone Goes the Extra Mile To Make Resident Voices Heard

-By Julia Steege-Reimann-

Boone, Iowa elevates the voices of residents through online polling.

“As a City, we always look for opportunities for citizens from all backgrounds to feel their voices matter, because they do,” said Elijah Stines, Boone, Iowa City Council Member.

With this philosophy in mind, Boone uses many tools and tactics to make resident voices heard. 

Because of these efforts, Boone has been recognized as a finalist for the 2020 Voice of the People (VOP) Award for Online Community Engagement. This is the only national award that honors local governments based solely on engagement with residents. The VOP Awards are presented by National Research Center (NRC) at Polco and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

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Making Resident Voices Heard

“The elected officials of Boone have been incredibly responsive to the public. The City is indebted to their efforts to make this level of accessibility a reality,” Stines said.

Many cities make the effort to hold meetings online and upload meeting videos to Youtube. But Boone takes that a step further. One councilman shares key meeting points with the public via social media and email so that residents can be informed of key topics without viewing the entire meeting.

The City also goes the extra mile to get feedback. They host community discussions and workshops on economic and residential growth. They use Polco’s online community engagement platform to ask residents for feedback on topics such as recreation and wellness options, fireworks usage, and the role of art in the community. 

By using Polco consistently, Boone has built a large community of respondents over time. In October 2019, Boone had 62 total subscribers on Polco. In December 2020, they had 447 and growing.

“As Boone looks to always get better at reaching residents, we will continue to fine tune polling offerings and the best modality for making remote meetings accessible,” Stines said .

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