Mayor Erin Stewart
Mayor Erin Stewart

Stewart to begin first round  of office hours on Monday

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:02 PM EST


NEW BRITAIN — Calling it “Government 101,” Mayor Erin Stewart has announced she will begin her first round of monthly office hours on Monday.

“You cannot govern adequately if you do not know how people feel,” said the new mayor.

Stewart, who mentioned several times during her campaign against then-Mayor Timothy O’Brien the need to have a time where residents can express their concern directly to the city’s chief executive officer, said, “We’ve had a lot of people calling and asking when the office hours would begin. I’m excited to resurrect them. My dad [former Mayor Timothy T. Stewart] did them once a month.”

The first round of meetings will begin at 6 p.m. Monday “and until the last person is seen,” Stewart said.
Those planning to speak to the mayor will be asked to sign up in the mayor’s office, on the second floor of City Hall on West Main Street.

“My staff will filter the questions, and they might be able to answer them without that person going to me,” said Stewart, who emphasized that anyone who wants to speak to her directly will be able to do so.

Office hours will be held monthly, but will be taken on the road every three months.

“We will get out into the community,” the mayor said, “We might go to the Senior Center, schools in the area or even church halls.”

The mayor said she has no idea what kind of questions she’ll get, but said she expects taxes and education will be on the top of the list.

“They were the most common themes on the campaign trail. I’m sure there will also be personal questions that some people don’t feel comfortable putting in an e-mail or writing about.”

This article originally appeared in the New Britain Herald.