Lacey City Council takes its meetings on the road

If you won’t come to them, Lacey City Council members want to come and see you.

That’s the thinking behind the council’s first “on the road” series of meetings and work sessions, the first of which begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (April 16), at Chambers Prairie Elementary School, 6501 Virginia St. SE.

The first hour of the meeting will include a presentation from Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder about the city, followed by a question-and-answer session. The council will move into its work session on “Septic Summit 2” at 7:30 p.m., which is an update to the council about an upcoming multi-jurisdictional meeting about countywide septic issues, Lacey public works director Scott Egger said.

“Septic Summit 1” was held in 2011, he said.

Ryder said the idea of getting out in the community and meeting residents was one of three ideas important to him.

In his time as a councilman and mayor, Ryder said he has noticed that council meetings and work sessions are not well-attended.

“We don’t have audience participation,” he said.

But he also understands that the “average person is extremely busy with everyday life,” or, “they don’t feel like their voice matters as much as it really does.”

“This is another opportunity to say, ‘We’re here to represent you, the constituents of Lacey,’ ” Ryder said.

His two other ideas currently are being carried out: sending a personal letter to new businesses that open in Lacey, and meeting with Lacey business owners at least once a quarter. Those meetings are arranged with the help of the Thurston Economic Development Council, he said.

After Thursday’s meeting, the next “on the road” meetings are set for 6:30 p.m. July 16 at Mountain View Elementary, 1900 College St. SE, and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at River Ridge High School, 350 River Ridge Drive SE.

Families are welcome to attend and light refreshments will be served.