What can Kittery do to keep you in the know?

Time and time again we hear how someone did not know anything about something that was happening. Recently pesticides were sprayed in Kittery and many on social media were concerned that,

  1. They did not know what they were doing?
  2. What is it that there spraying?
  3. Why did we only get notified the night before?

The public’s concerns of not being notified is like a broken record. Do you remember when:

  1. The sold Wentworth Dennett School for well under the market value.
  2. Word got out about Jai Alai
  3. Rumors about where work force housing is going to go
  4. New Community Center in the Village
  5. The sewer abatement fees
  6. Chloramines

The list goes on and on. It is true that many people get the rumors, spin people up, misdirect things and don’t get it exactly right. Yet the word was out in one way or another and it seems never to go far enough. How do we stop that and get the word out?

Tonight at the Council during the comments and issues (at the end) I will bring up an idea that Kittery can explore that allows for reverse calls, via text, emails, phone calls .

I feel Kittery has taken significant steps to communicate yet we roll back to the same complaints. Are we doing enough? We try many things like web sites, twitter and emails.

  1. However, many do not sign up for emails.
  2. Many do not use social media or twitter
  3. Many don’t visit the Town hall or Post offices
  4. Things come up and they can’t be in the tax bill
  5. It seems we hear the same story time and time again.         
  6. We did not hear about it until the last minute
  7. I never received notification on it.
  8. It did not come out in a timely fashion for us to raise awareness
  9. Are you kidding me when did that happen.

I will suggest that the Council, residents and Town staff, have a workshop and explore new notification ideas or plans. Things like the Reverse alert system and perhaps we can use this service to keep the public better informed.

What is Reverse Alert? Reverse Alert is a new and enhanced emergency alert system that allows residents to choose the type of emergency information they want to receive. It is deployed in many areas. One article talkas a bout a the result of a partnership of free community alert services for local police and fire departments, as well as K-12 schools. The Reverse Alert will allow authorities to send emergency information to users by text message, email, hearing impaired receiving devices and phone call (business lines, cellular phones and home numbers). Authorities can also use the system to send non-emergency community alerts. Users can customize their profiles to receive alerts issues for areas near schools, nursing homes or any address. Reverse Alert also gives users the options to choose what skills they can volunteer during an emergency, identify their business type or list any special medical needs.

It may not be the answer but we should explore ways to get the word out and keep the public adequately informed.

This may not be the way to go but its about getting the ideas out there and finding a solution to minimize if not end the perception of the lack of information. Kittery has tried very hard to get the word out and it does not hurt to see if we can keep building on what we have done so far. I would like to catch the things that fall through the cracks.

Tonight I will bring this up under council concerns and issues. Channel 22 at 6.  Feel free to comment on social media. I can assure you it is watched.