In this week’s newspaper, the Herald launches its Public Meetings Planner, a new public service project for the newspaper in 2021. Yes, we know, another calendar.

The newspaper already publishes the dates and times of upcoming public meetings in the Community Calendar each week. We will continue to do so.

But going forward, the Herald will also print a list of discussion topics for upcoming meetings in the Public Meetings Planner, published in the “News” section each week. This week’s planner is found on page eight.

In this edition, we learn that the Board of County Commissioners will discuss early childhood care in Lake County, that the Lake County School District Board of Education will swear in two new members, Felicia Federico and John Baker, that the Lake County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on AngelView’s preliminary plan and that Parkville Water District’s board will review design plans for the expansion of Big Evans Treatment Plant. All in one week!

The intent of the planner is to preemptively centralize information on public meetings, providing the Herald’s readers with the tools needed to  engaged as citizens.

Much of the newspaper’s coverage is after the fact. In fact, given the Herald’s weekly deadline, we sometimes won’t print updates on public meetings until a week and a half after they happen. The planner will allow the newspaper to provide coverage before and after such events.

The Public Meetings Planner is a big undertaking, involving the collection of disparate information from dozens of local groups. So, we are taking a phased approach to the project’s execution.

In February, the Public Meetings Planner will focus primarily on local special districts’ governing bodies: the Board of County Commissioners, City Council, and the boards at St. Vincent Health, Leadville Sanitation District, Parkville Water District, Lake County School District and Colorado Mountain College. Think of it as a trial run.

In March, the Herald will begin adding other public meetings to the planner to include gatherings of advisory boards, like the Leadville Planning Commission, and special interest partnerships, like Lake County Open Space Initiative.

At some point in the not so distant future, we hope to print a comprehensive weekly list of all upcoming public meetings in Leadville and Lake County, and their associated discussion topics.

Many public boards and groups do not finalize agenda items until a day or two before a meeting. So please, keep in mind that the discussion topics listed in the planner are subject to change. Groups will inevitably delete and add to discussion topics after the Herald’s publishing date.

We hope the planner will help readers keep a beat on what groups are talking about each week — as well as what, if any, public meetings readers might like to attend.

Rachel Woolworth

Herald Editor

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