An open session, as part of an outreach program through the Governor's Office for Local Development (GOLD), will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Harlan County Courthouse.
Amy Stroud, field representative for the 21 counties in the Cumberland region, said the session will be open to any group or person who has a question about a state-related issue in terms of grants, county and city government or local projects.
“The governor can't obviously be everywhere all the time. This is for anyone who has a concern and wants to take it to the governor,” Stroud said.
Stroud said representatives schedule an “official visit” to each of the counties in their region at least once a month, and stay as long as needed depending on public turnout and what questions or concerns are being addressed.
“We are liaisons ... we can always come back if needed,” she said, explaining that once-a-month visits are routine and that the representatives can return if requested by the public or local officials.
Willard Hansford, who also represents the Cumberland region, will be joining Stroud during today's open session.
Daniel M. Bayens, director of the Office of Field Services within the governor's office, said 13 field representatives are available for the seven different regions in the state.
Bayens said his office is working to promote more public input and participation at the sessions because Fletcher's representatives “can put them in direct contact with the governor.”
“There's usually about a hand full of people who come. We're trying to get releases out to get more people to show up,” he said.
Bayens said any state or local issue, from concerns with infrastructure projects to transportation and medical needs, are open for discussion. It can be a simple matter involving a stop light, he said.
“This will get a lot more attention than just making a call to Frankfort. It will get their voice heard,” he said.
Gov. Fletcher has said that Frankfort should be accessible to all reaches of the state as the seat of Kentucky government.
“Our field representatives fulfill that need by allowing citizens to ask questions and voice concerns within their communities and, in turn, have those questions and concerns heard in Frankfort,” he said.