Younger voices missing in dialogue

Jefferson City officials are preparing for the final town hall meeting, but are struggling to reach many area residents.

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The city held two town hall meetings last week, with the third and final one scheduled Tuesday, to discuss four main projects within the city: the conference center, the multipurpose building, the old Missouri State Penitentiary and downtown parking. The first meeting drew about 50 people and the second attracted a crowd of roughly 40.

But, as one participant Thursday pointed out, a majority of those taking part in the town halls largely represent an older segment of the population and the city is missing input from the younger demographic.

City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus said the city would like to reach the under-35 group, but it may take a different type of forum to do it. Jefferson City is often characterized as a great place to raise children, he said, and the city would benefit from speaking with young parents on what they think should be city priorities.

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