Although some residents and town councilors have voiced concern about the way her administration has chosen to reconfigure Town Hall, Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron said she still believes her vision to create a Municipal Action Center allowing department contacts to be gathered at one location is the most practical solution for residents to conduct town business.
“This was one of my campaign goals,” Styron said. “I wanted to see that customers that are interacting with local government have a very easy one-stop shop for approaching the town with their needs and that it becomes incumbent on the town to facilitate (itself) in a more easy and transparent and straightforward manner.”
The Town Hall reconfiguration will create Styron’s envisioned Municipal Action Center, a space housing department contacts from several town departments. Construction is under way and is expected to conclude in early June, according to Amanda Vela, the town’s public information officer. Town Hall is currently open by appointment only.
Styron, who while working for the City of Indianapolis in the ’90s helped implement a similar plan, said the Municipal Action Center would enable residents to conduct all of their business at one location, a plan which would necessitate reconfiguring the first floor of Town Hall.
Styron said adding a receptionist desk or simplifying her idea any further wouldn’t provide the same services.
“You can find yourself having to go to multiple departments to get something accomplished,” Styron said. “Today, it’s possible you will apply for a permit and you will come to one location, and you will be instructed to go across the street to the municipal building to get more information and signatures, and then you may end up having to touch base with three or more department’s contacts in different office buildings or office areas to complete your activity.”
When the project is finished, Styron said a person wanting to conduct town business would be helped at one location, a service that could only happen if space is created to house contacts for several departments.
“When we talk about having a one-stop shop for permitting, we need to have the fire department in the new Municipal Action Center,” Styron said. “We need to have someone from the police department, someone from the parks department. There will be representatives from all these different areas.
“In the past, a customer, a constituent would have to visit each of those locations, but now we are orienting ourselves where they just have to go to one place.”