Live town hall forum begins new format, May 19
May 7, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Building on the success of December's first-ever live town hall broadcast, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii plans on giving community members the chance to participate in an expanded format of the forum, later this month.
On May 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., community members will have the opportunity to pose their questions while on the air. The live telecast will be carried on installation channel 2 and hosted by Col. Matthew Margotta, commander, USAG-HI, from the Visual Information studio, here.
Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, senior commander, U.S. Army-Hawaii, who encouraged development of the televised town hall project based on the Fort Hood, Texas, model, will also participate in the broadcast.
Not only will viewers be able to call in to the studio with questions, but also they will be encouraged to submit their queries via e-mail or through social media methods such as Twitter, in the days or weeks before the scheduled forum.
"The combination of live television and the new forms of social media provides us with the ability to extend our reach within the Army community in ways hardly imagined just a few years ago," Terry said.
"We must make every opportunity to take advantage and do everything we can to hear from our community members. That's simply good customer service," he added.
The first 30 minutes of the program will be devoted to subject matter experts from the garrison providing update briefs. Scheduled topics include the latest information on the upcoming Fourth of July Spectacular; Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation deployment programs; road construction; and the upcoming implementation of utility metering for Army Hawaii Family Housing.
"We can reach every member of our housing community, from Aliamanu to Helemano, through our installation television station," Margotta noted.
Response to the first televised town hall in December spurred interest from the command and led to the program's expansion from one hour to 90 minutes.
"The positive response to the first televised town hall in December encourages us to nurture this type of format and, in turn, bring our town hall concept into the 21st century," Margotta said.
Telephones will be manned during the hour prior to the broadcast and on through broadcast completion. All questions will be gathered and eventually answered by a subject matter expert, even if the inquiries are not featured during the scheduled 90-minute forum.
One new element for this second edition of the TV town hall is that phone-in questions will have the opportunity to be heard live on TV.
"Through the active support of command, we will have the technical ability to bring our callers into the program and give them a chance to interact with our senior leadership," said Larry Thomas, chief, Visual Information, who manages the TV2 installation television facilities.
Questioners can participate immediately by posting their questions at the Ask the Commander mailbox on the garrison website (<a href="http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil">www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil</a>) or by simply writing <a href="mailto:AsktheCommander.USAGHI@us.army.mil">AsktheCommander.USAGHI@us.army.mil</a> or twitter at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/USAGHI">www.twitter.com/USAGHI</a>.
The live broadcast on garrison Hawaii's cable channel 2 will be rebroadcast throughout May and June, and it will also be rebroadcast on cable television in June on Olelo, channel 49, allowing community members outside the gates to view the broadcast.