Merced City Council sets town hall meeting dates

The Merced City Council set dates for two town hall-style meetings and a planning session this week, but the times and locations remain undetermined.

The council voted 6-0 – Councilman Noah Lor was absent – to hold the town hall meetings on Jan. 15 and 29, which are Wednesdays.

According to city staff, the meetings will likely be held in the evening at Tenaya and Rivera middle schools, but the city has not finalized the selection of either site.

The city will provide interpreters for Spanish- and Hmong-speakers, according to records. This year, the meetings will be televised, city staff said.

City Council policy encourages the governing body to schedule a minimum of two town hall-style meetings to receive input and ideas from residents on issues, projects and programs. The meetings typically take place in the first quarter of the year.

The council also scheduled a budget-planning meeting for Feb. 1 at Merced Civic Center, 678 West 18th St. The time for that meeting has not been determined. During that meeting, the council is to come to a consensus on vision and goals for the city.

With ballot approval from voters, the council amended the City Charter in 2007 to allow special meetings to be held outside City Hall.

The city’s first special meeting held outside City Hall took place in April 2012 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s social hall in south Merced. Concerns discussed included McNamara Park, which has subsequently benefited from significant city and community attention.