The Town of Cutler Bay hosted its second “Open Mic Night” on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Unlike the first one, which took place on Apr. 22 at Town Hall, the most recent one was conducted in the auditorium of East Ridge Retirement Village.
The purpose of the event was to give residents an opportunity to speak to elected officials and staff.
“Our second Open Mic Night was a great success,” Mayor Peggy R. Bell said following the meeting. “We appreciate East Ridge allowing us to hold this meeting in their auditorium, enabling their residents and others to conveniently participate in their town government.
“Town manager Ralph Casals did a wonderful job fielding an assortment of questions and we on the council had the opportunity to hear what residents care most about,” Bell said. “It was most informative. I took notes and will be using this information as we continue to make important town decisions.”
Lasting two hours, from 7 to 9 p.m., the meeting had a less formal approach than regular town council meetings, in an atmosphere designed to allow residents to voice their concerns, provide suggestions and feedback, and ask questions of the town manager in a more comfortable setting. More than 80 people participated.
Casals, who presided at both meetings, said he was pleased with the turnout and the responses.
“Our Open Mic Nights have been a great success in which we have averaged more than 80 participants in each of our meetings,” Casals said.
“As town manager, it provides me with direct feedback from our residents, whose voices are heard by the mayor and town council, department heads and myself.”
He said the direct communication allows town staff to address the concerns of the participants in an immediate fashion while providing a framework of open communication with the community.
“I would like to thank all of the participants who attended both Open Mic Nights and encourage them to continue to be involved in making our town an excellent place to live, work and play.”
East Ridge Retirement Village is located at 19301 SW 87 Ave. in Cutler Bay. For information on upcoming meetings visit the town’s website at www.cutlerbay-fl.gov or call 305-234-4262.