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Shafter City Council revels in good start with outdoor city council meeting

Shafter City Council revels in good start with outdoor city council meeting
Posted at 5:02 PM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 20:02:09-04

SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — Despite a bit of wind, the City of Shafter felt they held a successful meet and greet with Shafter residents and city council meeting in the Gossamer Grove neighborhood.

  • On Tuesday, the City of Shafter held a regular city council meeting at Community Park in the neighborhood of Gossamer Grove. Shafter Mayor Chad Givens said leading up to the meeting that they wanted to hold a meeting in the community to give residents an opportunity to meet city leaders and be part of the local government process.
  • With the meeting being held outside, there were plenty of opportunities where the official proceedings could have been interrupted, but according to the City's IT Manager, John Rubio, the reason they saw very few issues was that they practiced the scenario well before Tuesday's meeting.
  • 23ABC met with a handful of Shafter residents who live in the Gossamer Grove Neighborhood, and they said having the meet and greet, and city council meeting, in the neighborhood was a great gesture by the city that they hope to see continue.


I'm Sam Hoyle, your Shafter neighborhood reporter, when you look at what's going on behind me with a handful of tents, a bunch of Easy Ups, and booths set up. It might look like a carnival, a festival, or something of that nature, when in actuality, it's a city council meeting.

The City announced in late April that it would be holding a regular city meeting at Community Park to give Shafter residents in the Gossamer Grove neighborhood, an opportunity to meet city leaders…

The first part of the evening was a meet and greet session between residents and city leaders and after that, the city jumped into its normal course of business. For Mayor Chad Givens, it was a great first meeting in the community.

"We learned a lot from folks from having the conversations earlier before Council started a lot from the education perspective of what people are looking to see a lot even from our [Recreation District]. I mean, this — Community Park is really great because it is meant for our Rec Department to step in and say, "What services can we offer," right?" said Givens.

23ABC spoke to one resident about why they came out to the meeting and for them, it was a great gesture by the city and they also learned about how the city plans to be involved in the community.

"I wanted to get some information on the Shafter community. I was basically really interested in the new substation that's going to be built here," said Mary Mendoza, a resident of Gossamer Grove. "I think it's really nice. It's the first time I've ever heard of a city council coming out to a park and really meeting the community."

But when it comes to holding a city council meeting, there's a lot of technology that's already built into the council chambers, so how did they do it in the middle of a park? According to the City's IT manager, John Rubio, they had a lot of the equipment already in-house thanks to ARPA funding, but leading up the event?

"Like Kobe Bryant, we practiced, practiced, practiced. So, we practices several times leading up to this event. As you can tell the wire management was really clean. We tried to have intentional failed points so that we knew exactly how to fix them on the spot. And luckily, everything went well."

According to the city's mayor Chad Givens, he did say they plan on holding more here in the future now whether it's going to be here at the park or at the city services building that will be built here in the near future. Well, that remains to be seen. In Shafter, I'm Sam Hoyle, your neighborhood reporter.

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