Snohomish reaches out for ideas

SNOHOMISH — The city of Snohomish has launched a new communication tool on its website to encourage people to share ideas.

People now can log into Imagine Snohomish through their social media or email accounts.

City leaders monitor the comments. They want to involve more people in the city’s planning process.

“This is a great way to have two-way communication,” Economic Development Manager Debbie Emge said.

The site, she said, offers a way to help busy people to participate in local government.

“We know not everybody can attend city council,” Emge said. “We’re hoping that they can engage at home at their convenience.”

Mayor Karen Guzak said she wanted to implement Imagine Snohomish after she received a sales call from MindMixer, a company that administers the platform. The company manages the communication site for 400 cities, according to its website.

Guzak said MindMixer offers interactive tools beyond the capabilities of the city’s new website. It is expected to cost $7,800 for four years.

Imagine Snohomish gives contributors a chance to share new ideas, second others suggestions, expand upon comments and give feedback on initiatives.

“Right now we really need more people to go and interact,” Guzak said. “We’re looking for feedback from the community.”

About 20 people have signed up so far.

The site measures and tracks participation, identifying the most interested citizens and most compelling topics. Administrators can communicate with people as they provide insight on the planning process.

People earn points for participating and can use them to earn prizes, such as a tour of the wastewater treatment plant, a police ride-along or coffee with the mayor.

“I’ll actually even buy,” Guzak said, laughing.

To sign up, visit the city’s website and click on the Imagine Snohomish icon on the right side.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com.

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