May 4—Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the accurate starting date for study sessions and the Public Power Hour.
After being sworn in as mayor, Briton Williams was already making clear his intention to improve the relationship between the city and its people.
Starting May 10, study sessions with city council will not be the same. The sessions will be held in person and on days when there is not a scheduled city council meeting.
"This will be a work in progress but will begin to give us a template of how I would like future study sessions to be done," Williams said.
Williams will also introduce the Public Power Hour, which will provide a chance for citizens to talk to the council about non agenda items, share information that council may not be aware of happening in the city or in their neighborhoods that council should be aware of and a chance to have the full council in front of them listening to their concerns.
The first one will be held on June 7 and details on how to participate will be released within the next week.
Williams said the format is not intended for citizens to vent randomly about disagreements, personal attacks or anything unrelated to improving the situation at hand.
Williams pointed out that citizens may not get an answer that night if the topic pertains to something council would have to address with staff.
"I really believe through this Public Power Hour we will begin to improve communication between citizens and the city. It will give you a voice to let us know what we need to do better," Williams said.
Also during Monday evening's city council meeting, Pat Carpenter, Jenafer McCauley and David McGhee were sworn in as council members.
Former Mayor Bob Pettit and former council member Fletcher Dickert said their goodbyes and thanked city council and their families.
Council will meet again next Monday for a study session.