You hear “Just call the City” all the time. Every time you hear the statement, you feel a small amount of hopelessness. You may even feel intimidated at times because it is you vs. the City of Barberton. I understand your frustration and experienced it myself until I took the plunge and navigated the system to make sure my voice was being heard.
The process of expressing your concern or asking questions is straightforward. Our fears of being looked down upon tend to hold us back. We live in a town where information is kept guarded and used as a means to establish power and authority. Communication from the City of Barberton has gotten better but is not at the level I feel it should be.
The term “Misinformation” is used when details of something are presented through the hands of those, not in power. It is designed to make you question yourself and others. It is easier for someone to deny than to backpedal.
The first call you should make is to your Councilperson. A Councilperson is your direct connection to concerns, questions, and information. The City of Barberton is divided into Wards to represent the citizens better. If you do not know what ward you live in, you can visit my Ward Tool I developed to find out. Typically, your councilperson will engage in conversation to collect more information to help you better.
At any point, you can avoid your councilperson and go directly to the head of departments and even the Mayor if you choose to. Starting at the head of the department is an excellent place to begin when you need help or answers.
The most common concerns are water line breaks, potholes, dangerous debris, sidewalks, and lights. In these cases, you would call the Service Department.
You can find more information on the website at https://cityofbarberton.com/151/Public-Service.
Sometimes your concerns may be about business growth, the overall direction of the City, new expenditures, and so on. The best way to address these types of matters is to attend council meetings. Council meetings are held every Monday at 6 pm at the Municipal Building. These meetings provide a forum for where you can talk to any level of government publicly and on the record.
If you would like to attend a council meeting and would like a hand, please feel free to let me know. I would love to help you through the process.
You do not have to attend the council every day or show up in person to be heard. No rule or law says you must remain silent if you don’t attend council meetings. This is false and intentionally used to intimidate someones standing and to minimize their concerns. You have a voice even if you are not involved. If I become Ward 1 City Council, none of my constituents will ever be without the representation they know and understand.