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Blackbox Special Report: Part VI

Cumming struggles to bring communication to 21st century

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The City of Cumming has made strides in the past few years on becoming more transparent.

The city’s website has new sections that highlight city news, such as articles and photo galleries from city events. Another section on the website is now home to past meeting videos from the council and planning and zoning board. Monthly newsletters and a designated open records request officer have also improved the city’s transparency efforts.

But compared to other local communities, those efforts fall short. The city doesn’t use social media and its website barely has any information in comparison to Forsyth County, Alpharetta or Milton. The meeting videos often are not uploaded until weeks after action has been taken. The most recent video currently online is from January, meaning February and March aren’t uploaded yet.

Additionally, meeting agendas are emailed out a few days prior, but are put online only the day of the meeting and then taken down the next day.

Furthermore, the elected officials do not have city email addresses. To try and set up an interview with the mayor, one must call and make an in person appointment rather than talk over the phone or through email.

Though recent efforts are commended, the city has a long way to go to make it to current standards of transparency.


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