Town hall to focus on community concerns

| February 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

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

The social media event of the quarter is happening 6-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27, at www.facebook.com/usaghawaii.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii is again hosting its popular online forum to address community-wide concerns.

“We will focus first on issues that impact the whole installation before moving on to individual topics,” said Col. Daniel Whitney, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. “We’re asking attendees to be patient while they wait for responses and for their courteous cooperation.”

All comments posted on the event page prior to or during the virtual town hall will be answered. Those topics not addressed during the 90-minute event will receive a response in the days following the online town hall.

“Those participating in the event need to remember to conduct themselves according to Army values,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Philip Brunwald, garrison’s senior enlisted leader. “We understand that Soldiers and family members are passionate about presenting and resolving their concerns, but all comments still should be respectful and family-friendly.”

The garrison command team is considering ceasing to hold the online forum and reverting back to face-to-face town halls if community posts continue to violate posting policies.

Soldiers and family members interacting on the page should review the posting policy located under the “About” tab. Comments that include swearing and comments that represent personal attacks and/or racist, graphic, obscene or abusive language will be removed, and the user may be banned from the page.

One of the reasons the online venue has so much participation is that it allows attendees to easily interact without impacting their busy social and family lives or making them rearrange their schedules, said Dennis Drake, director, USAG-HI Public Affairs. Soldiers and families can post a question on the event page prior to Feb. 27, and return at a convenient time to review the response.

During the town hall, subject matter experts monitor the event page and respond to as many community-wide concerns as possible. Questions can be posted for Island Palm Communities, the Commissary, the Exchange, Tripler Army Medical Center, and the directorates of Emergency Services; Public Works; Human Resources; and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Attendees visiting the digital venue are reminded to provide as much detail as possible, so questions can be understood and addressed without requiring follow-up questions — thus delaying a final response. For example, if asking about road conditions, provide the street name, installation and closest cross streets, buildings or landmarks. This method will help DPW exactly pinpoint the location in question, which will pave the way for a faster response.

“USAG-HI’s mission is to support warriors, families and the community, and we will continue in this effort in spite of the fiscal uncertainty facing the Department of Defense and Department of the Army,” Whitney said.

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