Hamilton neighborhoods invited to ‘Coffee with Council’

New program, based mainly in parks, promises to discuss hot topics.

As Hamilton government continues to reach out to neighborhood residents, officials are starting a new program called “Coffee with Council.”

Members of city council and other officials will travel to parks to discuss topics people want to talk about after providing a brief presentation about an issue of interest to the neighborhood surrounding that park.

The program begins Saturday at Jefferson Park, East and Hensley Avenues, where Adam Helms, Hamilton’s director of resident services, talks about efforts to reduce blight in neighborhoods. Then attendees can talk about anything important to them. Each of the four Saturday gatherings is from 10-11 a.m.

Topics for each of the four locations are “driven by interests that we know exist in the neighborhoods,” said Director of Neighborhoods Brandon Saurber.

With Saturday’s gathering at Jefferson Park, Pastor Aaron Simpson of Freedom House Ministries, a neighborhood leader, “helped guide the topic on this one, and said it’s a topic of interest within the community,” Saurber said.

Representatives of Hamilton’s 17Strong program, which works to improve and create social connections in the city’s 17 neighborhoods, also will be there.

Here are dates of the other gatherings, not all of them in parks:

  • Aug. 7 in the Vista Drive area (meeting at Vista Drive and South Eastview Parkway): Opening topic will be the 5-Points Roundabout, with Allen Messer, senior civil engineer for the city. That’s a topic of interest in the East End neighborhood.
  • Sept. 18 at Millikin Woods (North Washington Boulevard): Opening remarks will be about parks, by Steve Timmer, executive director of the Hamilton Parks Conservancy.
  • Oct. 2 at Moser Park (Heaton Street and Greenwood Avenue): First presentation will be about small-business development, offered by Mallory Greenham, assistant to the city manager.
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