It’s been a slow start, but Inuvik Mayor Natasha Kulikowski’s new “Lunch with the Mayor” initiative is two weeks in and going strong.
“We have seats for up to six people, so if we could have more people that would be great,” said Kulikowski, noting she got the idea from Yellowknife. “It’s a pretty simple way to speak with people in the community and find out what they’re thinking about.”
Every Wednesday from 12 to 1 p.m. up to six people can register to join Kulikowski for lunch at the Midnight Sun Complex. No food is provided, but residents are free to bring their ideas, concerns and comments along with their lunch.
Due to Covid-19, the town is asking residents to sign up in advance. People can sign up over the town’s website, or contact the town’s front desk by phone or email.
So far, two residents have sat down for a meal.
“Neither one brought up any real concerns, they both had ideas for stuff in town,” said Kulikowski. “Which I think is fantastic. If I can hear the ideas people have for all kinds of things, we’d have a much easier time working together to make the community better.
“The first one was mostly revolved around opportunities over at the skate board park, and the second one, our initial conversation was about the boat launch, but then we just had a nice chat for the whole hour.”
Noting she hoped more people would come out for lunch and have a chat, Kulikowski said she was happy to keep setting the time aside to chat with people about whatever was on their mind.
“I’m going to keep going with it,” she said. “As long as I keep getting at least one person I feel like I’m accomplishing something and hearing a void. If uptake keeps going, I anticipate continuing this until the end of my term.
“Of course if there’s a group that wants to come together, I’m happy to facilitate that as long as we can maintain the social distancing. People can come with concerns, ideas — really anything. If they’re looking for information on a specific thing I might ask to give me a heads up so I can do some research on it so I can make sure I have the best information, but I’m willing to chat about whatever people want to talk about.”