Pilot Point Podcast debuts online
By Abigail Allen
Helping people understand the ins and outs of Pilot Point's city government is going to be a heavy focus in 2023.
City Manager Britt Lusk, with the help of local business owner and cohost Jimerson Adkins, has begun the Pilot Point Podcast as a way to share information about the community and City Hall with the residents punctuated with some fun and some humor.
"I didn't want it to just be a boring lecture," Lusk said.
The introduction, Episode 0, is published and accessible on the traditional podcast hosting applications and services,
including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
"My goal is to do biweekly," Lusk said. "It just depends on what time allows."
If the duo is not able to record new episodes every other week, they plan to at least produce one per month.
Part of the point is also to help people connect with the employees who help the city run.
"We want to have city employees on the podcast so we can interview them and people know who's working for them," Lusk said.
Elected officials might also make an appearance, as could members of the community and representatives of local businesses.
"We want to have a guest who shows up to talk on the show, which could be a community member who has historic knowledge, like maybe Steve Irick," Lusk said.
Up to four people can sit around the microphones at one time, and there's also the capability to call in, which are features Lusk and Adkins want to grow to use.
Adkins, who is also sponsoring the podcast through his companies Dog Gone Marketing and the Pilot Point Coffee House, brings technical experience producing and publishing podcasts to the table.
"My personal goal in town and the goal of my business at the Coffee House is to just bring the community together," Adkins said. "And this is another avenue of doing that. And this is a lot of fun. I get to do it with my good friend Britt, so, what's not to love?"
He agrees with Lusk that the key is "to keep it lighthearted and fun."
"We've already got our format drafted up," Adkins said. "Of course, it will evolve, as most things should. But we've got a
solid start. And with Episode 0, the introduction, already published, it's out there. All the hard parts are already done."
The equipment itself was around $1,500, and the subscriptions to publish the podcasts monthly costs $12.
"$1,500, I thought, was pretty inexpensive for the ability to maybe engage people who otherwise wouldn't be," Lusk said.
Another component of helping inform the public is the upcoming Pilot Point Citizens Government Academy, which is
projected to start in late March.
"It's going to be open to everybody [to apply]," Lusk said. "We are only going to accept 15 to 20 people this first round. As we kind of learn more, we might make that bigger. Preference will be given to people that live inside the city limits of Pilot Point."
Applications for the academy will open Jan. 10 and close Feb. 14.
Those dates almost mirror the dates for filing for office, and the courses wrap up soon after Election Day on May 6.
"It would be a great opportunity for anybody that's interested to go through this program, to understand the ins and outs of what it means to operate City Hall," Lusk said.
The course will fall on Tuesday evenings, with them focusing on introduction and overview; public safety; community development; public works; and development services.
Those who complete the academy courses will have a graduation reception at 6 p.m. on May 18 before the City Council meeting.
This is only the inaugural course for the academy, with the plan to hold at least two a year—in the fall and the spring.
"Spring and fall are the most opportune times for this," Lusk said.