Molalla Mayor Jimmy Thompson plans to meet with the public this Saturday, February 4, so citizens and business owners can ask him questions, and share their ideas and concerns.
Thompson first plans to meet with business owners, or company representatives, from 2-3:00 p.m. at the Lumberjack Grill, located 170 Industrial Way. Following that meeting, Thompson will step outside for the dedication and grand opening of the Bear Creek Byway.
Then, Thompson is scheduled to hold an open public forum from 4-4:45 p.m. at the Molalla Public Library.
Thompson, now in his second month in office, said his goal is to reach out to the public and hopefully encourage citizens to more frequently participate in community and municipal affairs.
"I'm working on getting more people involved, and starting a citizen advisory committee and a business advisory committee," Thompson said. "Also, I want people to see who we are (city officials) face to face so they know we're not shady characters doing things behind closed doors."
Thompson said during his first month as mayor he frequently hears from constituents concerns about Molalla's growth and questions about downtown construction.
"(The construction has) gone on too long," he said. "People are ready for that to be done so we are able to move on to the next chapter."
Thompson said that some Molalla residents possess a nostalgic image of the town's identity, but the population has nearly doubled since 2004 — current estimates are about 9,000 residents — and growth will continue.
"I don't know if there is a clear identity of who we are as a city and as a community," Thompson said. "One of our goals is to have a visioning process where the entire community can really hash out what it is we want to be and what we can agree on, and we need to figure out how to take the city toward that vision. There are a lot of great people here in Molalla and a lot of great groups. It may not always seem like everyone gels but with more open communication I believe that we can and will."