Dates set for town halls in Merced

To get public input on the city’s direction and issues, the Merced City Council will hold two town-hall-style meetings – one this month and one in February.

The first meeting is planned at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Rivera Middle School, 945 Buena Vista Drive. The second is scheduled at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at Tenaya Middle School, 760 W. Eighth St.

The city will provide interpreters for Spanish and Hmong speakers, according to staff.

City Council policy encourages the governing body to schedule a minimum of two town-hall-style meetings to receive input and ideas from residents on issues, projects and programs. The meetings typically take place in the first quarter of the year.

This year, the meetings will be streamed live on the Internet. A link to the live meeting is on the city’s website, www.cityofmerced.org. The city will also add video of the meeting to YouTube for people who were unable to watch it live, according to a news release.

Additionally, the live broadcast of the meeting will be on Channel 96 on Comcast.

With ballot approval from voters, the council amended the City Charter in 2007 to allow special meetings to be held outside City Hall.

The city’s first special meeting held outside City Hall took place in April 2012 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s social hall in south Merced. Concerns discussed included McNamara Park, which has subsequently benefited from significant city and community attention.