Township of Verona Launches a New Virtual Town Hall Platform

The Township of Verona is happy to introduce to Verona residents and businesses, PlanetCivic, a new digital platform aimed at 1) increasing community engagement in local decision making and 2) supporting local businesses. This unique online platform allows Verona residents (address verification is required) and Township officials to post surveys, pose questions and receive feedback on proposed initiatives. Effectively, PlanetCivic serves as a virtual Town Hall, where residents can voice their opinions without necessarily attending a Town Council meeting. In addition, PlanetCivic offers a comprehensive business directory and promotional tool for local businesses, as a way to support local buying.

For the civic engagement piece, the Township of Verona launched with one initial question, that is, "Will you support a plastic bag ban in town?"- https://www.planetcivic.com/in-7320-463. We are keeping things simple with one question for now to encourage all residents to register and start exploring the system. Going forward we would like PlanetCivic to be the one online platform that everyone uses to share new ideas and feedback instead of posting information in various online social media groups. This will make things easier for Township officials to track and create a more efficient way of communicating information with the public. Please take a look at this brief video for a nice overview: https://youtu.be/ot-2F-_5pjw.

In addition to allowing Township officials to propose initiatives the township is thinking about, PlanetCivic empowers residents to submit their own proposals and seek community feedback. The Township of Verona will be the first municipality in the state opening this platform to resident driven initiatives, in addition to township driven initiatives. 

The buy local piece includes a brand new ShopVerona module that the Township of Verona helped PlanetCivic develop over the past year or so. This is completely unique to Verona so we will be the first town in the state to launch this new module for them. It allows all types of local businesses to list their products and services, and probably most importantly, it allows them to create digital coupons that residents can claim and use when shopping local. We already have several businesses registered in the system and many others are waiting for us to launch the whole platform before diving in. You can check out the ShopVerona video here: https://youtu.be/p5L_qGWzMe0. In addition, the Township in partnership with PlanetCivic have also developed the system to allow for businesses to communicate directly with one another through this platform, creating a stronger, more unified business community. 

We are extremely excited to get this off the ground and the hope is to be a model for other municipalities. The Township of Verona believes in continuously trying to improve communications and tries to keep up with new technologies as best we can and we feel this is a strong step in the right direction.

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