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updated: 1/31/2011 6:28 PM

Carol Stream leaders to meet public Wednesday

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Carol Stream residents don't have to look very far Wednesday if they have an issue with any of their government agencies.

Just go to village hall.

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Elected officials from several agencies will be on hand for the second "Shape of Carol Stream Town Hall Meeting," a gathering of elected officials that gives the agencies a chance to inform their constituents and opens them up to questions from residents. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at village hall, 500 N. Gary Ave.

"I think it's great," said Del Miller, president of the Carol Stream Fire Protection District, who will be in attendance. "It gives folks a chance to address the heads of the elected organizations in town. We certainly welcome that."

Miller is one of nine leaders who have confirmed their attendance. Board presidents for five school districts that cover parts of Carol Stream will attend, as well as the library and park district board presidents.

The Itasca Bank & Trust Co. has organized similar meetings for nearly 20 years in nearby Wood Dale and Addison. Trustee Don Weiss attended one in Addison and brought the idea to Carol Stream last year.

"We just enjoy doing them," said bank president Jack Mensching, who will moderate the event. "It's a little niche the bank has found and it adds value to the community."

The meeting will be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 6 and AT&T Channel 99. During the broadcast, a phone number and e-mail address will be displayed for those watching at home to send in their questions.

Last year, roughly 25 residents attended the meeting and listened as officials outlined their accomplishments. They were asked to make a three- to five-minute opening statement.

However, most exceeded that time and questions from residents did not start until more than an hour had passed in the two-hour meeting.

"Instead of a three-page summation, we need to keep it simple so people have a chance to answer questions," Village President Frank Saverino said. "I'm tired of hearing myself talk. That's why we need to cut it down."

Mensching said he will remind speakers before the program of their five-minute allotted time.

Saverino said he preferred the format to other forums he has attended because the questions are not filtered and residents can address the officials directly.

"This is not about what we are doing," he said. "We could take two hours of our prepared statements and put it on TV for the next year. That is not what it's about. It's about letting people reach back and ask a question. It's not about us beating our own drum."

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