Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

The monthly Town Hall Social got underway Wednesday evening with city council representatives and city administrative personnel.

The turnout was slim, but council members said they hope the word gets out about the town meetings.

"Hopefully we will have better participation next month," said Councilman Leo Escobar. "Its intention is to have better communication with the public."

Escobar initiated the Town Hall Socials to receive feedback from the public on any issues or concerns. He said the social is not only for the residents, but also for city employees who want to discuss concerns in their department.

"We want to bridge the gap between the city and the citizens," Escobar said.

At the first Town Hall Social at El Charro restaurant Wednesday, two residents showed up with a total of seven in attendance, including city officials. No issues were discussed. The next social meeting is set for Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at the same location.

Councilman Shane Valverde said he expected it to be a low turnout until more people knew about the monthly get-togethers.

"The word hasn't really gotten out, it's going to take awhile," Valverde said. "We are taking baby steps."