Coffee Confabs: Mayor Myrick and IPD Chief Barber will meet community members in coffee shops

April 7, 2015 by Rachel Cera

The City of Ithaca has been sending city officials out into the community to meet the public, and that continues as Mayor Svante Myrick and Ithaca Police Department chief John R. Barber plan "Coffee with the Mayor and Chief" at area cafes starting this week.

Mayor Myrick and Chief Barber will be at Dunkin' Donuts and Gimme! Coffee this spring.Mayor Myrick and Chief Barber will be at Dunkin' Donuts and Gimme! Coffee this spring."There is no agenda, and merely an opportunity for folks to stop by in the morning and have a conversation," Chief Barber tells 14850 Magazine. "People often feel more comfortable talking about issues that concern them in an informal setting." 

The first coffee meet-up will be hosted at the Dunkin' Donuts at 408 Elmira Road in Ithaca's Southwest from 9-11am on Wednesday, April 8th. That'll be followed by a session at the Dunkin' Donuts at 205 South Meadow Street in the west end from 9-11am on April 15th, and another at the Elmira Road location on April 22nd.

In May, the coffee gatherings will be held at Gimme! Coffee at 506 West State Street, from 9-11am on May 13th, 20th, and 27th. "Gimme! Coffee has always been very community focused, and we can't think of a better alignment than hosting such a positive initiative," says Eva Havle of Gimme! It "provides the folks in our community an opportunity to speak with Mayor Myrick and Chief Barber in an intimate, one-on-one setting," she says.

Free coffee is being provided for attendees by Dunkin' Donuts and Gimme! Coffee for the events, where no reservation is required. Dunkin' Donuts franchise owner Roy Clark says "We always look for ways to support our community and police force, and are happy that we can help both with this program." Clark worked with fellow area franchisees Tom Santurri and Ed Wolak to set up the events.

Gimme! says their North Cayuga Street cafe doesn't have enough room for this sort of gathering, but IPD spokesperson Jamie Williamson tells us they're considering spots on Ithaca's northside that could host future events. "We are looking at other locations but as of now nothing has been set in stone." 

Chief Barber says the idea came from a similar program in Syracuse. "Syracuse Chief of Police Frank Fowler recently began a similar campaign called 'Coffee with the Chief' that is very successful." He says he and Mayor Myrick have both been at the recent "City Hall in Your Neighborhood" gatherings, "and we'll be seen at future ones, too." He says he's "Looking forward to continued conversations with the community we serve!"

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