Orange Park Town Council takes its business to the streets

Council visits Montclair neighborhood for meet and greet

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com
Posted 7/21/21

ORANGE PARK — The Orange Park Town Council held its first meet and greet event and it brought community members, children, town experts and free snow cones to the Montclair neighborhood.

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Orange Park Town Council takes its business to the streets

Council visits Montclair neighborhood for meet and greet

Posted

ORANGE PARK — The Orange Park Town Council held its first meet and greet event and it brought community members, children, town experts and free snow cones to the Montclair neighborhood.

The town council originally wanted to meet outside of chambers last month, but it unfortunately was rained out. Montclair residents were graced with perfect weather for snow-cones and fun.

Orange Park Mayor Randy Anderson said the meeting was the first of many that will be scheduled once a month in the foreseeable future.

“One of my objectives as taking over as mayor is to go to a different neighborhood in Orange Park once a month,” Anderson said. “Last month, it rained out but here we are today. What we’re doing is bringing the council to the neighborhood so they can come out and get free snow cones, talk to the council and get their questions answered.”

Anderson said Orange Park and its council is about community, be it building community, helping the community, listening to the community or something else.

“When I took over, it was important to me to change the way we do things in regards to getting the message out,” Anderson said. “It’s about getting the exposure. If there’s a problem, hey, let’s talk about it. That’s why we’ve got all of our department heads out there...so our residents can ask the experts directly about their problems and concerns.”

Each month’s meeting location will be posted on the town’s website and on its official Facebook page. Anderson said the meet and greets are another arm of the town’s bigger push for more communication. He also publishes the emails and phone numbers of the council members and department heads with each meeting agenda so that people have the correct information they need to get in touch with the right person for the job.

Another aspect of that communication is the town’s new Text-to-Gov system.

“Green Cove Springs has it as well...and it’s simple and great,” Town manager Sarah Campbell said. “You put your phone number in to opt in and you’ll receive special event updates, code enforcement messages, general complaints and concerns and some emergency stuff.”

Campbell said the text message system is just starting out in Orange Park, so the town isn’t trying to rely on it too much for emergency situations. She said the Clay Alert system is the broader and more expansive text message system that’s county-wide and the go-to system for emergency alerts.

More than 750 messages have been sent so far between messages coming and going out, according to Campbell, and she expects the system to grow even more popular during the coming weeks and months.

The Hawaii FYVE-Snow snow-cone trailer was present handing out free snow cones to everyone in attendance. They said it was an honor to be out in Orange Park handing out snow cones because a big part of their business belief is community support. They’ve been doing special events, parties and more throughout Clay County for more than five years.

“Community is a big part of our thing and today is about serving the town of Orange Park and its residents,” the company said.

The Town of Orange Park expects each subsequent meet and greet event to get more and more popular, but they were happy with the turnout for the first event.

“We had a great time,” resident Carolyn Marquis said. “Thanks for hosting and the pocket park looks great.”

Resident Carrie Kissinger said she was so happy for the town for the Montclair Neighborhood park where the meet and greet was held.

“Thank you so much for making this addition to our neighborhood,” Kissinger said. “Growing up and living in this neighborhood for 34 years and raising my children here, [I can say] this park has been needed. Thank you to our town for giving our kids a safe place to play and foster friendships and enhance our Montclair community.”

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