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Santa Maria's last 2019 neighborhood town hall meeting approaches

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Posted at 6:18 AM, Dec 18, 2019

In an effort to bring city government to the neighborhoods it serves, Santa Maria's mayor and city manager are among the city leaders hosting a town hall Thursday evening.

This is the fourth and final neighborhood town hall of its kind this year.

Over the course of the last three meetings, issues of road conditions, library programs, parking, homelessness and neighborhood patrol all entered the conversation.

The goal of the discussions is to increase public input and find out what issues most affect each quadrant of Santa Maria.

"Some concern from the mobile home owners earlier in the year because we were working on a model lease program for the mobile home parks and the city did pass that eventually," City of Santa Maria Public Information Officer Mark Van de Kamp said. "Leading up to that, there were a number of mobile home owners coming up to the meetings in addition to city council. They just wanted to get their opinions heard."

Van de Kamp said concerns over homelessness are a common theme.

"The homelessness issue is a big deal, people are asking what's being done to house the homeless, encourage them not to cause problems at local businesses," Van de Kamp said. "That's an issue affecting all the cities on the Central Coast. We have a grant that we're well into that's helping us with education and enforcement."

Representatives from all 10 city departments are on hand at the meetings, which were held back in 2013 but went on hiatus until this year.

Van de Kamp said attendance is typically between 10 and 30 people.

These meetings have also served as an opportunity to educate residents on the upcoming 2020 census count, which cities rely on for funding.

A translator is available at the meetings.