There have been quite a few controversies in town lately that seemed to divide the Sumner community –, and the city , to name a few.
The hot-button issues have made citizens line up to speak during city council public comment, hold signs outside the courthouse and even speak out of turn to the point that Mayor Dave Enslow had to call a recess to get the courtroom quiet during a recent council meeting.
"I know and I understand their frustrations, as a citizen," said councilmember Nancy Dumas. "It’s hard to stand at the podium and speak your mind and feel like it’s not being heard."
Dumas wants to give residents another outlet for city conversation – that’s where the idea for The Table came from.
is a way for residents to meet each other and, Dumas hopes, create a stronger community through interaction and engaged citizenship. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19.
Dumas and resident Melony Kirkish came up with the idea after attending the Guiding Light Weekend on Citizenship, a conference on positive leadership and citizen engagement held in Seattle this March.
"They announced the $1000 grant opportunity and while we were winding our way through Seattle streets toward I-5 we came up with the grant idea of The Table," said Dumas. "Even though we didn't win the grant, it's important that we do this."
At The Table, there is no agenda. Dumas envisions it almost like a speed-dating activity – a get-to-know-your-neighbor event where residents can meet, socialize and talk about city issues with a council member, without having to approach the podium during public comment.
IF YOU GO:
The Table will be held Tuesday, June 19 at Dieringer Elementary on East Valley Highway. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the conversation kicks off at 7 p.m.