City of Hastings launches EngageHastings

The City of Hastings has introduced EngageHastings, an online platform that gives the public a voice and is also a great resource for information. 

City Administrator Shawn Metcalf said many residents have told him they want to be involved with the City, but may not have the time. EngageHastings allows residents the opportunities to be involved in meaningful ways without having to commit a great deal of their time. 

The site is linked through one of the orange buttons on, and can also be found at 

Several City staff members will make a presentation about EngageHastings during the regular Hastings City Council meeting 5:30 p.m., on Tuesday, Feb. 27. 

Host site Granicus serves more than 1,000 cities worldwide with its EngagementHQ platform, including communities in Australia, Canada and the UK.

EngageHastings is an opportunity for the City to share with, listen and learn from the public.

In the City’s first Community Survey, residents indicated that “The level of public involvement in decision making” is the No. 1 priority to improve city communication. 

“EngageHastings is exciting because it greatly increases the opportunities for the public to be involved in decision making,” Metcalf said.  

EngageHastings contains numerous projects with more to be added over time. Each EngageHastings project highlights a specific City of Hastings initiative and contains background information about the initiative. Projects address everything from zoning cases to planned construction to communication initiatives. 

Participants can also sign up for updates on specific projects. These tools are all intended to educate and give the public an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. 

Projects will be archived as they come to a conclusion, but available to view at any time.

“I like that residents can sign up to follow projects and they can share projects with their friends via social media,” Metcalf said. “Whenever there is an important update on a project, subscribers will get an email telling them about the update. Another aspect I like is the ‘Projects In My Neighborhood,’ where residents can visually see projects on a city map. Another feature I like is the ‘Ask Hastings’ page where residents can go to get answers for practically any city question. You will also be able to see what questions other residents have asked and what the answers are. This project will be managed by the Public Information Manager.” 

City departments will utilize the feedback they receive to enhance the end results of city projects. When a project comes to conclusion, project managers will send out an email letting residents know how their feedback impacted the project. 

For example, if the Parks and Recreation Department was renovating a playground and wanted to learn what playground design residents wanted most, the department could utilize EngageHastings to solicit that information from residents. There are a multitude of tools that can be used to gather community feedback. Some tools include: videos, forums, idea sharing, data sharing on maps, documents, news, image galleries, key dates, lifecycles, newsletters, surveys, Q&A’s, polls, storytelling, “who’s listening”, subscriptions, and much more.  

“I’m excited to show the public that we’re taking community engagement to a whole new level,” Metcalf said. 

Published Date: 02/26/2024

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