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File #: DIR 2020-004    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Discussion/Direction Item Status: Passed
File created: 12/24/2019 In control: Town Council
On agenda: 1/7/2020 Final action: 1/7/2020
Title: Discussion/Direction: Sister City Program Process
Attachments: 1. Attachment A: Parker sister cities newsletter article, input instrument, 2. Attachment B: Building Your Sister Cities Program, Sister Cities International, 3. Attachment C: Minutes from November sister cities Council discussion, 4. Presentation

To:                     Honorable Mayor and Members of Town Council

 

From:                     Kristin Read, Assistant Town Manager

 

Title

Discussion/Direction: Sister City Program Process

Body

________________________________________________________________________________

 

Executive Summary

Council in November directed staff to produce a report to pursue a sister city relationship. Staff has continued reaching out to Colorado communities with sister city programs in attempt to identify best practices and in this memo presents a recommended process for implementing a sister city program in Castle Rock.

 

Discussion

 

Staff in its initial sister city research last fall gathered information from peers in Arvada, Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City and Longmont. Since then, staff has also spoken to the Colorado State Coordinator for Sister Cities International, as well as with staff involved with the longstanding sister city program in Littleton, and with an unsuccessful effort to start a sister city program in Parker. Through this research, and with guidance from resources available through Sister Cities International, staff has developed the following recommended process for implementing a sister city program in Castle Rock:

 

January 2020

 

                     Join Sister Cities International (annual dues $810, to be accommodated within existing appropriations) for access to resources helpful in starting a sister cities program

o                     Staff time involved with this step is anticipated to be minimal, consisting of filling out the application, reviewing available resources for applicability to the Town’s potential program, and compiling those resources

 

February 2020

 

                     Publish information in Your Town Talk newsletter and on social media to solicit community members interested in getting involved in a sister city effort and to obtain online feedback about what the community’s goals surrounding such a program would be (see Parker examples in Attachment A)

o                     Staff time involved with this step would also be minimal, consisting of preparing the postings and questionnaire and reviewing results of the latter

 

March-May 2020

 

                     Hold meetings with interested community members to work through selecting a program structure and potential sister city (see Attachment B, Building Your Sister Cities Program)

o                     Staff time during this period could become significant; for example, Parker held biweekly meetings as it attempted to form its program

 

June 2020

 

                     Volunteer group returns to Town Council to present work to date and to request any Town support moving forward (staff assistance, funding, etc.)

o                     Ongoing staff support would be at Council’s discretion after hearing the community-based group’s request

 

Staff believes the suggested process will help determine if sufficient community interest exists prior to the Town making a sister city commitment. (Initial interest was demonstrated during the November discussion, which drew comment from three residents and three broader community members. Minutes for that discussion are included in Attachment C.)

 

The community group will face numerous considerations, chief of which is what the program’s goal would be. Councilmember participation in the group is encouraged.

 

Attachments

 

Attachment A:     Parker sister cities newsletter article, input instrument

Attachment B:     Building Your Sister Cities Program, Sister Cities International

Attachment C:     Minutes from November sister cities Council discussion