Facebook town hall addresses issues

| March 9, 2012 | 0 Comments
This chart shows the gender and age demographics of people who “like” and interact on the USAG-HI Facebook page.

This chart shows the gender and age demographics of people who “like” and interact on the USAG-HI Facebook page.

Lacey Justinger
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii hosted its third Facebook town hall, here, Feb. 29, to address community issues and concerns.

Representatives gathered from Island Palm Communities; the Directorate of Public Works; the Directorate of Emergency Services; the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and the USAG-HI command group, including the commander, deputy commander and command sergeant major.

Questions submitted for Tripler Army Medical Center, the Exchange and the Commissary were forwarded to respective subject matter experts for response.

More than 115 initial questions were posted, more than 405 follow-up comments or questions were posed and more than 920 “likes” were logged.

“This is a great venue to keep track of the communities’ pulse points, or the issues they are concerned about and areas we need to address,” said Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI. “Especially with the current and future budgets for Army operations, we’re going to be taking a closer look at what programs the garrison needs to support and what services it can sustain.”

A repeating issue that occupied the majority of interaction during the event was the proposed changes to Aliamanu Military Reservation gate hours. With numerous comments and questions posed from community members concerning this change, DES and the command team listened to the queries, revisited the decision and reversed the proposed changes.

Other concerns addressed child supervision, the mock and live billing programs, traffic and safety.

Residents also took time to thank or compliment garrison services, like caregivers at the Helemano Military Reservation Child Development Center, DPW and IPC maintenance teams and response times, IPC’s community center staff members and the garrison itself for hosting a convenient forum in which they could express themselves.

The Facebook format replaced both in-person town halls and televised town halls due to lack of participation in both venues. The Facebook Town Hall will continue to be a quarterly event.

“The beauty of the Facebook town hall is that anyone with a Facebook account can participate, no matter where they are,” said Dennis Drake, director, USAG-HI Public Affairs. “They have the opportunity to converse directly with the people who help make decisions about on-post programs and services.”

 Stay Connected

•Social Media. Service and family members can connect to USAG-HI social media pages to stay informed about events and changes on post. Visit www.facebook.com/usaghawaii or www.twitter.com/usaghawaii.

•Other Methods. If service or family members have concerns that they wish to be kept private, they can visit at this site http://ice.disa.mil/ or you can send email to askthecommander.usaghi@us.army.mil.

Stay Informed

•USAG-HI policies — like child supervision, pets and physical training — can be found at www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil, under the “Command,” “Command Publications” then “Policies” tabs.

Get Involved

•When encouraged to attend, some residents commented during the Facebook Town Hall that they had never heard of DES’s Neighborhood Watch program or IPC’s neighborhood Resident Advisory Panels.

Both of these programs are great opportunities to address concerns in person, offer suggestions and keep up to date with trends in each community.

To get involved with Neighborhood Watch, call 655-7114 or 438-7114, or email mindy.s.dye@us.army.mil or susan.manuma@us.army.mil.

To attend a RAP, visit www.islandpalmcommunities.com to find a schedule of meetings.


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