Murphysboro mayor uses Facebook to connect with residents to voice concerns

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - Most Heartland communities experience the same problems like traffic, poor roads, or even public safety. But this one community has a list of problems of its own.

Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens finds a unique way to connect with his residents and address their concerns.

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The mayor posted this Facebook post:

Rachel Malcolm Ensor has been a resident of Murphysboro, IL  for the last ten years. When she saw the post on the mayor's Facebook, it got her attention, so she commented her thoughts. "If you want things to change, you have to start talking and getting ideas...and you also have to get buy-in from the community and one of the ways to do that is to find out what they want," said Ensor.

Ensor feels if you want to really connect with people, then she suggests you have to keep an ongoing discussion of what the town needs.

"What we could probably is some work on our streets. Things that are going to welcome more family's and family use and pedestrian use such as sidewalks repair," she said.

Just steps outside of her home, are those beat up and broken sidewalks. More than 300 residents commented on the mayor's post addressing problems such as abandoned homes, drainage issues, and safety of children.

Among the many comments on Facebook, the old shoe factory on 19th Street in Murphysboro was one of the concerns people had, but the mayor said that it's already in the process of being taken care of.

"A lot of the things that I heard in that thread are things I'm already aware of...things I'm already working on in certain ways, buy those people don't know that, so if nothing else, it teaches me that there are some things that we need to do a better job of communicating to people are going on already," Mayor Stephens said.

The mayor says social media can be problematic, but he believes this time it is effective in trying to solve problems.

Stephens concluded, "I want us to be a city where people want to live .l..and they think about I'm going to consider Murphysboro as a place to live. that's my goal everyday."

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