Mayor launches ‘Walk-in Wednesdays’ Winfield pledges 3 hours each week for open meetings

Published 12:30 am Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mayor Paul Winfield is offering the public a special time once a week when he will be available without an appointment as a way to increase his accessibility.

He announced at Friday’s city board meeting via a teleconference because he was in New Orleans on personal business that he is offering three hours from 1 to 4 p.m. each Wednesday beginning next week for those who want to meet with him in a new approach called Walk-in Wednesdays.

“I always maintain an open-door policy,” he said Friday by telephone following the meeting, “but I want to encourage more citizens to come to City Hall. I’m blocking off time, whether it be about business or to make a complaint.”

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In addition to four city board meetings monthly, the mayor’s schedule is filled with an average of about 10 meetings daily with businesses and individuals, said Kenya Burks, chief of staff to the mayor.

She said the mayor’s meeting schedule is booked two weeks to one month in advance and usually take place during and after business hours as well as on weekends.

Walk-in Wednesdays include only the mayor’s office, but arrangements can be made if the two aldermen are needed, Burks said.

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield and South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman, who both meet an average of about 10 individuals and organizations per week, said their offices are open from 8 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I’ve had an open-door policy since I’ve been in office,” said Mayfield, who was elected to the position in 2005. “I will meet with anybody anytime I’m there.”

The mayor’s office is on the third floor of City Hall, 1401 Walnut St. Mayfield’s office also is on the third floor and Beauman’s office is on the second floor.

City Hall hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.