AUBURN – Mayor John Jenkins hopes he can get people talking Monday night.

He will kick off his series of five neighborhood meetings with Ward 5 at 7 p.m. at Sherwood Heights Elementary School. The meetings move to Ward 4 on Jan. 22 at the Great Falls Performing Arts Center. Meetings in wards 3, 2 and 1 will take place in February, March and April, respectively.

“Basically, it’s all one big open session,” Jenkins said. “We’re using this as an opportunity to ask the people what they foresee for the future of their ward.”

He’ll make some overall comments, to get things started. But Jenkins said he wants to make sure citizens do most of the talking and city staff most of the listening.

“We want them to know they don’t have to come to a City Council meeting to be heard,” he said. “We’ll come to them.”

If people can’t make the meetings, they can get a message to their councilor or to Jenkins, who will make sure it’s included in the record. Their concerns will be addressed, Jenkins said.

He said he is amazed at the number of services citizens don’t know about. “So, we’ll take this opportunity to keep them engaged, informed and inspired, and make sure they have full awareness of what’s going on and where their dollars are going.”

Jenkins will bring along a PowerPoint presentation that explains some of his ideas for tax reform. He expects to discuss resurrecting the annual spring cleanup trash collection if there is a lull in the discussion.