Colorado Cities & Towns Week is a great opportunity to educate residents on municipal services.
(If you prefer to host an event or conduct an activity to celebrate Colorado Cities & Towns, perhaps during an already planned occasion - great! Consider using the messages and tips from this week to help share how cities and towns work for residents.)
Free (or minimal cost) activities
Display the 2017 Colorado Cities & Towns Week posters in city/town hall or other municipal building. (The poster is 24 inches wide by 36 inches; artwork to be determined. CML will mail these free to all member municipal clerks in July.)
CML will send your municipality up to 100 oven mitts with the message “Colorado Cities and Towns: We've Got You Covered” to distribute to residents during events or at municipal centers. Items will be available to request this summer. To make this even more fun, consider asking residents to take selfies with the oven mitts and post to social media with your municipality’s hashtag, #cocitiestowns, and what they love most about their city or town.
Free coloring books
CML will send your municipality up to 50 coloring/activity books and crayons to distribute to kids, whether at an event or simply available at your city or town hall. These are also available as a free download on the CML website. These will be available by request this summer.
CML can customize ads similar to the poster (when available) with your municipal logo and text to highlight a municipal services or employees for you to run in your local newspaper, municipal newsletter, activity guide, as utility bill stuffers, website, etc.
CML developed a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) last year that your municipality can post to social media or website and, if possible, government access channel. There is also a 15-second audio PSA available if you have a local radio station that might air it. Contact Traci Stoffel for details.
Use this week to recognize outstanding residents, perhaps at a board or council meeting. If funds allow, consider hosting a reception.
2016 highlight: The City of Gilcrest held an Appreciation Award Reception honoring special residents, a local company, and the high school football team for their outstanding service to the community. They invited residents to the event by mailing a postcard.
Run trivia questions or interesting facts in the local newspaper, municipal newsletter, and/or on social media as a fun way to promote municipal government awareness and educate citizens.
2016 highlights: The Town of Mead held a trivia contest during the week for residents (see picture to right). The City of Wray posted fun department facts to social media.
Spotlight Colorado Cities & Towns Week in social media using the hashtag #cocitiestowns. You can simply share the work of municipal services, or, if holding event, include details and invite the public to attend. Post pictures of staff and volunteers at work with "Your city/town works for you" with a link to the Colorado Cities & Towns page. Request residents to post pictures from their favorite places around town or ask them what they enjoy most about their community.
2016 highlight: The Town of Berthoud created a BuzzFeed-style quiz, offering insight into what municipal job the person answer should have.
Tours and open houses
Select a day to offer tours of city/town hall or other municipal facilities, or set up an open house where residents can meet council and staff.
2016 highlights: The City of Montrose offered residents tours of its buildings, and the Town of Larkspur hosted an open house where staff could answer questions from residents and residents could meet the people who work for them every day.
Use an existing event
Use an existing or already scheduled event to tie-in the Colorado Cities & Towns Week message.
Contact local media
Schedule an interview about an exciting community project with the local newspaper, a local television or radio talk show, and/or your government access channel.
Utilize your library
Ask to make information about municipal government and Colorado Cities & Towns Week available at the library, whether flyers or a small exhibit on municipal services. Offer a special guest (firefighter, police officer, mayor, councilmember, manager/administrator) to read during a story hour.
2016 highlight: The City of Yuma offered giveaways to residents at the library.
Work with business
Set up an exhibit downtown or other public place with information on your city or town’s services.
Initiate a photo contest.
2016 highlight: The City of Wray held a "Capture Our Community" photo contest.
Focus on history
2016 highlight: The Town of Kiowa partnered with the historical society and museum to present its early history.
Host a potluck meal at a park or municipal facility.
2016 highlight: The Town of Green Mountain Falls held its first potluck in over 30 years, providing the opportunity for residents to come together and visit.
Host a recycling contest. See which organization, business, or school can collect the most recycling and announce the winner in your municipal newsletter or community newspaper.
If your municipality has a program to acknowledge residents (a “Resident of the Month” program, for example), consider bringing all of the 2017 winners together to recognize at the same time (perhaps during a council/board meeting, reception, community event, etc.).
Go to meetings
Arrange for an elected official or staff member to address rotaries, chambers, senior citizen groups, or other organizations on local government issues and the latest news in your community.
Use existing communication
If your mayor or city manager writes a regular column for your municipal newsletter or local publication, or appears on a regular government access channel program, consider focusing on Colorado Cities & Towns Week and the value of municipal government and acknowledge those who work and volunteer for the city/town.
2016 highlight: The City of Montrose ran an article on the importance of municipal services by the city manager in the local newspaper.
Adopt a resolution
Have your city council or town board adopt a resolution acknowledging Colorado Cities & Towns Week.
Conduct a community service activity, perhaps in partnership with a local nonprofit, or sponsor a city-wide cleanup day (at parks, main streets, tourist attractions, etc.).
Activities that require additional resources
Have an old-fashioned event in a park or other location to connect residents with municipal staff and elected officials. To reduce costs, consider partnering with local nonprofits and other entities.
2016 highlights: The City of Fountain hosted its annual community night in the park, while the City of Monte Vista held a BBQ for residents where each department displayed information on its services. The Town of South Fork served hot dogs at an open house, providing officials and staff the opportunity to discuss what they do for the community and to hear what residents want from them.
Coffee or breakfast
Host a breakfast with the mayor or council/board for residents or local business owners. Consider having a local talent or group from a local school provide entertainment.
Have a car wash with funds donated to a specific project or local park.
Plan a pet parade to promote pet licensing.
If you are planning an event for residents, please contact CML Membership Services Manager Lisa White. The Colorado Cities & Towns website will feature activities taking place during the week throughout the state.