The Fort Meade garrison conducted its second Facebook Town Hall meeting for this year on Aug. 29.
The 90-minute meeting was facilitated by Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard and the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office in the PAO conference room.
Rickard said the purpose of the town halls is to address questions or concerns that the Fort Meade community may have about working and living on the installation.
“The best I can do is be transparent and communicative with the community,” he said.
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Brian S. Cullen and Garrison Deputy Commander Andy Albright also attended the event.
Representatives from several directorates participated. They included: Martha McClary, director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Dan Spicer, director of the Directorate of Public Works; Mary Staab, director of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Kirk Fechter, director of the Installation Safety Office; Robert Holmes, deputy director of the Directorate of Emergency Services; and JoAnne Cahalan, general manager of the Fort Meade Exchange and members of her senior staff.
Maureen Van Beisen, community management director for Corvias, and Aimee Stafford, lead community development and operations specialist for the Residential Communities Initiative, represented the installation’s private housing facilities.
The public affairs staff fielded questions posted by community members on the Fort Meade Facebook page. Garrison leaders answered the questions live on Facebook from the PAO conference room.
Fifty-three questions and concerns were addressed, with several garrison leaders following up later with more complete responses.
“The Facebook Town Hall is very helpful, not only as a way to keep in touch with the concerns of the community, but for garrison leaders and partners to address concerns in a collective forum,” McClary said.
Concerns ranged from the future of the old PNC Bank and the status of the dog park on Ernie Pyle Street to a traffic bump in need of repair at the Rockenbach Road access control point.
Spicer said town halls allow direct communication between the public and garrison leaders.
“I think it’s important that you have that unfiltered feedback to know how to improve things,” he said.
Holmes said DES listens to the public and strives to provide the “best possible services that are available in this constrained financial environment.
“We don’t have the same level of resources we had during the years past and requirements have increased,” he said. “It is, at times, hard to keep up with changes that occur such as traffic patterns.
“This venue assists us with being aware of current issues and problems so that we can address and, hopefully, correct the problem quickly.”