Chats with Mayor Matt

Matt Starr conducts his first podcast, Chats with Mayor Matt, on Thursday, March 12 from his office in City Hall, along with Health Commissioner Julie Miller and Mark Maxwell, Director, Knox County Emergency Management Agency. The first topic concerns what local officials are suggesting to the public in dealing with the COVID-19 virus.

MOUNT VERNON - Information moves pretty fast anymore. Because of this, Mount Vernon Mayor Matt Starr decided to launch one of his initiatives - a City of Mount Vernon podcast aptly titled Chats with Mayor Matt.

The first podcast recording took place today, Thursday, March 12 at City Hall where Starr held a panel discussion on the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) pandemic from some familiar faces.

“The whole notion of doing a podcast is to get information directly to the citizens who want to hear from their local leaders on a variety of topics” said Starr. “We’ve compiled a list of several topics thus far which range in subject matter like the new stormwater utility, what the EPA requires of the City in all areas, how do citizens report a street light that is not working, and various other matters.”

Starr likes the podcast format for a variety of reasons. First, the format fits into busy lives by being available on-demand, rather than during a certain time of day and day of the week.

“I listen to podcasts when I workout or when I’m driving distances,” said Starr. “I find subjects that are interesting to me and my job, for the time frame I have available, and I tune in.”

Another reason is because the podcast format allows for a deeper dive into subject matter without having to read lengthy articles or white papers. Hearing rich conversations about a subject matter can also be helpful in presenting material in an entertaining and engaging way.

Finally, podcasts have been found to create a sense of community. People who think alike look forward to tuning into a medium that appeals to them and their interests.

“This also helps with us simply getting more information to the public so they can hear more about what is going on in the community,” Starr said.

When asked about the name of the Chats with Mayor Matt title, Starr explained that early after taking office, a small group of elementary students for some reason started saying, “Hey, there’s Mayor Matt.”

“It just made me smile,” Starr said.

For now, Chats with Mayor Matt are available on the City’s Facebook Page and will soon have links on the City website.

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