Greg McCurry reaches out to citizens

Newly installed Mitchell City Councilman Greg McCurry is pioneering new ways to communicate with local residents.

McCurry will hold monthly “Coffee with the Councilman” meetings. The first is set for 8-10 a.m. Saturday at Cafe Teresa’s.

“The media’s not welcome,” McCurry told me as he left his first City Council meeting Monday night. He said it with a smile, and I doubt he would strong-arm me or any other intrepid journalist who came to the weekend morning meeting.

But I will be headed to a softball tourney Saturday morning, so he need not worry about me interferring. I hope he draws a crowd of people wanting to learn more about city government.

McCurry has also launched a blog on his city government experiences:

That’s especially interesting after he asked his fellow council members and Mayor Lou Sebert to be more web-friendly with public information. Sebert, who doesn’t appear to be an Internet-savvy guy, said he thought posting committee information on a City Hall billboard was adequate, but Council President Jeff Smith agreed with the need to reach out to people online.

As we continue to learn in the news business, online is the future, even for small-town civic business. McCurry is just the first elected city official to venture into this brave new world.