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Provo mayor holds open forum

Lewis Billings' inaugural "Mayor's Night-In" left residents cautiously pleased about the step toward openness in city government.

Billings, the new mayor, was accompanied by his city department heads to the Thursday night town hall-style meeting in the Provo City Center. Officials took questions and comments from anyone wishing to speak."During my term of service, I want those involved in the day-to-day administration of Provo city government to recommit themselves to being responsive, receptive and respectful as they work with and serve our residents," Billings said.

The open attitude was welcome, said resident Andy Cindrich.

"Historically, speaking up hasn't mattered, and I haven't seen any results," he said. "I think it's a good idea. It's just a matter of if they'll follow through or if it's all for show."

Cindrich's gripe? He told city officials they aren't spending enough on parks and recreation and that he fears the rush to development could remove prime park sites in the city.

Jesse Bushman, a geologist, had some land development issues on his mind.

"The use of unstable land is a major concern of mine," he said. "We need to use the land in a way that does not cause problems."

Bushman complained that developments continue to be approved in earthquake fault zones.

Billings said the city will respond to citizen concerns.

"While it is not possible to do everything that everyone would have us do, we need to be willing to listen to those we serve," he said.

The next meeting will be March 24 at Provo's Wasatch Elementary School.