City Service Fair promotes relationships with Gainesville residents
The overflowing energy of connectedness and community interaction was palpable in the gymnasium at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center in Gainesville Saturday morning. As city residents gathered for the inaugural City Services Fair, they had the opportunity to interact and learn about the various services and programs the City of Gainesville has to offer.
“It’s great to engage with the community and show citizens what we have to offer,” said La’Shundra Coley-Hale, volunteer program coordinator for the Parks, Recreation and Business Department. cultural.
The City Services Fair offered residents the opportunity to speak to several city service representatives, learn about job availability, and included a tree giveaway. Some of the services represented at the fair included GRU, Affordable Housing, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works, among others.
Orchestrating the fair was Acting City Manager Cynthia Curry, who emphasized the importance of being more aware of the concerns and interests of Gainesville residents. “We want to make sure the information is shared with people here. It’s important to have that because we want to feel connected to the community,” Curry said.
“I originally came for the gift of the tree,” said Gainesville resident Susan Nelson. “I ended up talking to Parks and Recreation and learning more about the diversity here… This fair helps people understand what services people can get from the city.”
For Patricia Lee, a citizen of Gainesville and CEO of T-FAN (The Foundation Assistance Network, Inc.), the service fair allowed her to have face-to-face interaction and plan a future meeting with Curry.
“It allowed me to schedule a meeting with the city manager that I otherwise wouldn’t have had,” Lee said.
Lee also noted that the fair allowed him to familiarize himself with the various departments of the city, while providing a networking opportunity.
The theme of increasing community involvement through more service fairs and community interaction was common among attendees.
“It shows a buy-in from the community,” said Doug Hoffman, AMI Deployment Manager for GRU, of the idea for future municipal service fairs.
“It shows such a need and want the community to come on a Saturday morning,” Coley-Hale said.
“This is the first of a long series,” said Curry, who said that going forward, a service show will be held quarterly, starting next fiscal year.
“People don’t know what they’re missing with these events,” Lee said.
The next municipal services fair is scheduled for September, at a location to be announced later.