Abilene mayor plans for more engagement with residents


ABILENE, Texas - Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams promised to be as transparent as possible when he ran his campaign, and he wants to meet more people to show he meant it.

"I ran a campaign based on a commitment to engage this community and so I want to do so in a very, very overt way and make myself available," Williams said. "I'm very, very serious about being accessible and available and I want to be held accountable."

Williams decided to make himself available every Friday for Abilene residents who want to speak to him about streets, taxes, or anything else. Williams said residents can set a time aside with him by calling Abilene City Hall.

"Most of the time at those meetings, I'm just listening and sometimes learning, but all the time being accessible," Williams said.

On top of having time set aside every Friday, he and Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna are organizing meetings once every three months at the Abilene Convention Center. The mayor said there's no agenda to these meetings, but will instead be a time for him to communicate with the citizens about what's going on.

"I think that there's a consequence to not knowing, that's not good for our community. At the end of the day, the money that we collect via taxes, it's not the city council's money, it's not the administrators' money, it's our citizens' money and I want them to be able to weigh in," Williams said.

Within the next two weeks, Williams and Hanna will release the dates for the quarterly meetings.