With City Hall shuttered to all but essential personnel and the coronavirus emergency leading local governments to call on residents to stay home, Palm Coast government will hold its first-ever virtual town hall on Wednesday, April 1, at noon. The town hall will kick off a weekly series that will take place each Wednesday, presumably through the duration of the emergency.
Registration for the Virtual Town Hall is available now. Residents must first sign up for a free account on palmcoastconnect.com and then register for the event at palmcoastconnect.com/s/virtual-town-hall.
The event will be hosted by Mayor Milissa Holland and City Manager Matthew Morton on Palm Coast Connect. The duo will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and residents will have the opportunity to submit questions in real time.
“In a time of crisis, it’s important to maintain connections,” Holland said in a release. “We have to remember none of us [is] alone. Your city is still here serving and listening to you. This virtual town hall is an incredible way for us to engage with our residents while they stay safe and comfortable in their own homes.”
The town hall was compelled by Holland’s signing the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” emergency proclamation on March 22. The proclamation urges all residents who can stay home to not leave unless absolutely necessary. Flagler County government has since urged all residents 65 and older to stay home. Almost 31 percent of Flagler-Palm Coast’s population is in that category.
“It’s important that we show our community that its leaders are not going anywhere,” Holland said. “We are right here managing this crisis each and every day. And we’re going to show you how we’re doing it with transparency, accountability and efficiency.”
Most city workers have been allowed to work from home. Morton has been reporting to work at City Hall, however. Speaking from his office Friday, he said it was important for him to be in the building as a matter of principle.
In the coming weeks, City Department Directors will be featured with Holland to highlight how they are stepping up in response to COVID-19 and keeping their departments running smoothly.
“This dialogue will allow us to address critical focus areas and better serve our residents,” Morton said. “We’ve already seen unbelievable improvement in expedited customer service case resolution through Palm Coast Connect. Now we can focus that functionality on directly engaging with our residents and following up on the concerns that they voice to us.”