Cindy Bass: ‘Budgetary constraints’ have delayed council district-office plans

Before Cindy Bass was elected to the Eighth District City Council seat last year, she spoke about representing residents who felt disconnected.

Inaccessibility was a major complaint leveled against her predecessor Donna Reed Miller, so Bass told the collective district that “we hear them, we listen to them and we understand them. We want to hear what people have to say.”

She mentioned increasing her public appearances, bringing an interactive website into play and opening a field office in the district.

Accessibility through events

On the first note, Bass hosted several “Coffee With The Councilwoman” meetups in the district; her spokesman Joe Corrigan said these variations on “office hours” will continue on a regular basis.

As for the website, Bass’s appears no different than 16 other council members, which is to say it’s interactive insofar as it offers an email address and phone number to contact.

Corrigan noted that “that new leadership in Council is actively working to increase the technological capacity of the City … but right now, a City-hosted interactive website is not possible within the current infrastructure.”

When it comes to the field office, that too has been delayed while Bass and her staff gets settled into their cramped fifth-floor City Hall digs.

No district office yet

Corrigan said it has not been easy to find a location, either financially or via the real-estate market. Ethics rules come into play, as does the need to focus on the budget and other pressing issues legislatively.

However, Bass said she recognizes the importance of following through with setting up a field office.

“Although budgetary constraints have made it more difficult than expected to set up a field office, my staff and I remain committed to opening a district office,” Bass said Tuesday. “In the meantime, we will continue to grow our presence in the community through community meetings and our ‘Coffee with the Councilwoman’ series. These coffees give constituents a chance to talk to me directly, one-on-one, in their neighborhood.”

No timetable was offered as to when a district office could become a reality.

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