The coronavirus pandemic has presented our society, especially local government, with unprecedented and ever-evolving challenges. As local leaders, you have been on the front lines — required to adapt operations not only to keep your cities running, but also to keep your residents informed and safe and your cities up to code. And while we’re all focused on weathering the current storm, local leaders must be forward-thinking in anticipating the next pandemic event.
The COVID-19 crisis won’t be the last of its kind. The threshold for what is considered a pandemic will be forever altered by what we’re experiencing and citizens will not be as forgiving about local government missteps next time. While we’re still in the midst of the pandemic, it’s our job to share knowledge, perfect our response, and learn from our experiences, successes, and mistakes so that when the next crisis hits, we’re able to act swiftly, decisively, and in a manner that preserves our community ways of life as best we can.
Many agencies are also receiving an increased number of complaints, due in large part to more people being home, walking their neighborhoods, and having more time to notice details about their city. While this can be overwhelming to a department that is already stretched thin, these complaints mean you have an audience that is paying attention. Now is a prime time to communicate with your residents and educate them — they are already engaged and more likely to hear your message. Whether that message is conveyed through social media, email notifications, mailers, or other means depends on the agency, but by all means reach out.
-Founding Partner, Curtis Wright