Like a scene from Batman, Missouri City shined a light on the need for super citizens, and they heeded the call, making their way to the new Missouri City Community Center to see how they could help.
Responding were Wonder Woman, Wolverine, Deadpool, and Wakanda lovers; regular Missouri City residents who donned t-shirts, and in some cases, like Monica Riley who came in full Wonder Woman gear.
“I’m an advocate and I’m always looking for ways to improve the city,” Riley said.
So what exactly is a super citizen?
“A super citizen is an ambassador for the city and has powers which they don’t even know. We need super citizens to spread the word about Missouri City,” said Kelle Matte, the city’s liaison for the area’s 63 homeowner associations.
Using email, the internet and their electronic sign on Cartwright Road announcing local events, the city rolled out the welcome mat to the public last week to hear what the community needs and to ask them to become “ambassadors for the city.” It’s all part of the City Manager Anthony J. Snipes and the communication team’s strategic plan to keep people connected.
It was also a chance for the city to highlight some of its jewels like the new Houston Community College Missouri City campus, which has more than 1,300 students starting in the fall, and the new $1.25-a-ride on-demand MCTX Community Connector curb to destination service from Metro for Missouri City residents and visitors.
The on-demand service, which is the first in Fort Bend County, allows individuals to travel anywhere within a zone, seven days a week, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. The new service, which has discounts for seniors and students, will connect residents to jobs, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, the new HCC Missouri City Campus and METRO’s local bus network.
The transit service, which started last month, will be rolled out in phases with plans to include all areas of the city.
The small gathering of about 50 residents, business owners and stakeholders came to network and to tell the city their thoughts. Participants filled out surveys collected by city staff and gathered in small groups getting to know their neighbors.
“This day to me is a perfect example of why community or citizen collaborators are essential to the city’s progress. Although it is not a large audience, it is representative of subdivisions city-wide,” said Missouri City Director of Communications Stacie Walker.
For Reginald Pearson, president of his HOA and member of the zoning and planning commission, the session was important for him to attend.
“Some say there are two Missouri Cities, one on Highway 6 and the rest. I want to change that perception,” said Pearson.
“I believe in community involvement. I’m in that era of my life where family, church, and community are important. People my age should be involved to set an example to the young ones. Nothing gets done if you don’t participate and if you don’t participate, you have nothing to complain about. I want to bring the community together,” Pearson said.
He received support in his sentiment from area business owners who attended to see how they could partner with the city and from city leaders.
“This gives an opportunity to the residents to tell us what we do OK and what we need to improve. This also lets us show how we try to communicate with them and if those connections don’t work, find out how they are getting their information,” said Snipes. “It’s important for community engagement and transparency.”
Matte felt a sense of job security after hearing from residents like Pearson how much they appreciated her work.
“I remember when it was so hard to get to the city and when you came on board for HOAs, they were so responsive. Now you guys are awesome,” said Pearson.
“When I first went out to do my 100 meetings, it was amazing how much I heard the people say, ‘I contacted the city and can’t get a response,’” recalled Matte.
Residents weighed in on the city’s website, and digital newsletter which they want to continue as a hard copy, as well as digital since many seniors, don’t regularly access computers. Matte said she also wished more property managers were present as they are the first line of information from the city.
“We want to improve, expand and enhance the residents’ ways to give us feedback and provide them with a quality service. After the meeting, the communications team will look at every tool discussed and either revise, expand, or streamline communications,” said Walker.