Editorials

Want face time with the mayor? Go take a walk

SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon launches 'neighborhood walks' program

San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon started a neighborhood walks program in June 2017. She plans to meet with residents in more than 30 city neighborhoods to learn about their challenges and opportunities.
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San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon started a neighborhood walks program in June 2017. She plans to meet with residents in more than 30 city neighborhoods to learn about their challenges and opportunities.

We’ve heard of politicians holding office hours. Sometimes, they even take their show on the road and set up card tables in supermarket parking lots, so constituents can complain about potholes and water bills while balancing a bag of potatoes in one hand and a 10-pound box of cat litter in the other.

Leave it to SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon to change things up. She’s holding a series of hour-long, neighborhood walks and inviting constituents to join her. That way, Harmon can get an up-close-and-personal look at issues affecting SLO residents. On her first walk on South Broad Street, for instance, she heard all about the scary traffic that’s led area residents to dub the street “Kamikaze Lane.”

Harmon, who is nothing if not ambitious, plans 30 walk-and-talks in all. (To find out more, email Harmon at hharmon@slocity.org.)

We love the idea. (Are you listening, other mayors? How about you, county supervisors?) Too often, we only hear from elected officials at—you guessed it—election time, when they (or their surrogates) go knocking on doors. For going the extra mile (or two or three) to get to know her constituents and their concerns—in an off-election year!—we offer Mayor Harmon a soleful bouquet of her trademark roses.

Bouquets and brickbats appear periodically in The Tribune. If there’s something (or someone) you would like to honor with a bouquet or chastise with a brickbat, email your idea to sfinucane@thetribunenews.com.

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