In an effort to encourage open dialogue between Rock Island and its residents, the City is excited to announce the return of “Rock Island Unplugged” after a three-year absence.

The public-forum event allows residents to engage in a question-and-answer session with city officials and department directors outside the City Hall setting. The City held three “Rock Island Unplugged” events in recent years, with the last one in October 2019, a news release says.

Rock Island Unplugged will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at The Stern Center, 1713 3rd Ave., Rock Island.

Residents may ask department directors questions about city business, projects, plans, services, public safety, or any concerns they may have.

“This is a great opportunity to meet and engage with the public,” said Mayor Mike Thoms. “There will be someone available to answer any question on any topic. This helps the public put a face to a name and encourages participation with their city.”

The event will feature Mayor Mike Thoms, City Manager Todd Thompson, ARPA Manager Samantha Gange, Community Engagement Manager Sarah Hayden, Parks & Recreation Director John Gripp, Public Works Director Mike Bartels, Community & Economic Development Director Miles Brainard, Finance Director Linda Barnes, Library Director Angela Campbell, MLK Center Director Jerry Jones, Police Chief Richard Landi, Acting Fire Chief Robert Graff, Information Technology Director Tim Bain and Human Resources Director Rob Baugous.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and panel discussions will begin at 6 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic beverages and a cash bar will be provided.

Thoms will give an opening statement that will be followed by introductions of department directors. The floor will then be opened to questions from residents.

If unable to attend, residents may also send questions in advance to Sarah Hayden, community engagement manager, at hayden.sarah@rigov.org. Submitted questions will be read aloud during the event.

Questions must include name, address and a contact number, according to the release.