Conversations over coffee
Waupaca council member meets with constituents
By Angie Landsverk
The newest member of Waupaca’s common council is connecting with people over cups of coffee.
Ald. Dmitri Martin is available to meet and talk about issues from 8-9 a.m. on weekdays.
He uses a scheduling tool called “Calendy.”
People visit calendly.com/dmitriamartin/citycouncil to choose the date and time.
Three options are then offered for the meeting place.
They are Little Fat Gretchen’s, Aquamos Coffee Collaborative or the person’s choice.
Those wanting to meet outside the 8-9 a.m. time may email him at [email protected] to make arrangements.
While Martin represents Aldermanic District No. 4, he is open to meeting with people from throughout the city, as well as from outside it.
That is because he does not consider his constituents to be only those who can vote for him.
They are his first priority.
However, with all of Main Street in his district, Martin believes those who own downtown businesses and property or work and shop there should also have a voice.
There also people who go to parks and events in his district.
Martin started going to Little Fat Gretchen’s on weekday mornings right after he was elected.
“When I decided to run, I intended on finding a way to communicate with constituents,” he said.
His idea was to gauge how they wanted him to vote on certain issues.
“What I found is no system is provided by the city to communicate,” he said.
Each alderperson has an email address, but no budget for mailings to constituents, Martin said.
In an ideal world, there would be a tool allowing them to send letters to constituents, inviting them to provide their email addresses and cellphone numbers so they could be polled on issues, he said.
Martin instead reached out to people on Facebook and began sharing the Calendy link so they could contact him.
“This was the only cost effective way available, but most people don’t know I’m here,” he said while sitting at Little Fat Gretchen’s counter.
After Aquamos opened, Martin started going there as well.
Martin said he has met with business owners, city employees, people who work in the city and some who are “just curious about what it’s like to be an elected official.”
Other council members may use the scheduling tool as well, he said.
He wants each member to have a budget for sending out at least one mailing a year.
Martin said some people do not know who to talk with when they have questions or concerns.
He may help someone find an ordinance pertaining to an issue or make a connection.
“It’s not always something related to a vote,” Martin said. “It could be something that has not surfaced yet. It could be something as simple as civic values.”