Brookhaven, GA, Mar. 10, 2017 – The Post Reports – The City of Brookhaven has announced a 6-month pilot program believed to be first of its kind in local government, a program designed to make it easier for residents with children to attend Council Meetings. Beginning March 14, the City’s Parks & Recreation Department will launch Kids Night In, a program providing supervised recreation activities for children while their parents attend the Council meeting.
Mayor John Ernst said in a Friday release, “The City of Brookhaven should be as open and available as it can be for residents. People who want to engage their government can do so in Brookhaven without worrying about what to do with the children. They can bring them here.”
The pilot program, believed to be the first of its kind in local government, has its origins in the private sector.
“Large entities like Ikea, Home Depot and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta utilize on-site child care to promote families while achieving maximum engagement in the workplace. We thought, why not modify that strategy to make our local government more accessible in Brookhaven?” said City Manager Christian Sigman.
According to the City, Kids Night In will feature a well supervised area for children to play games, watch movies or work on homework during city council work sessions and business meetings, beginning at 3:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month. Kids Night In will continue until the end of the city council meeting, no matter how late.
“We’ll have professional Parks Department staff on hand at City Hall until the closing gavel. We’ll be here until the very end,” Parks and Recreation Director Brian Borden said in the release.
The City explains children must be in good health, and between 5 and 12 years old to attend Kids Night In. Light refreshments will also be available.
“As a single parent who wants to stay informed and engaged with the many exciting things happening in Brookhaven, this initiative by the city is great news,” comments Brookhaven resident Marian Liou. “I love this idea and I hope many families with young children take this opportunity to get involved. Date night at city hall, see you there.”
After the pilot period concludes, theCity says the program will be reviewed and evaluated.
“By September, we should have a clearer idea on whether we should make this a permanent program,” said Sigman.
Mayor Ernst believes that Kids Night In will be very successful.
“Citizen involvement should not compete with families or family values. I think that if families aren’t forced to make that choice, they will choose to participate,” Mayor Ernst adds. “If this is as successful as I think it will be, you’ll see other cities following Brookhaven’s lead.”
Brookhaven City Council Meetings are held at City Hall, located at 4362 Peachtree Rd. For dates, times and agendas click here.