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Open Town Hall


Privacy / Registration FAQs

What are my options to participate?

  • The Registered Channel: Sign in before or just after you submit your feedback. Either way, Peak Democracy will show your feedback on this website.

  • The Unregistered Channel: Don't sign in and remain anonymous. Peak Democracy will just share your feedback with Brentwood staff.

Note: The first time you sign in, you'll need to register (establish an account on Open Town Hall). Registration is free.

Why do I need to sign in to show my feedback on this website?

Brentwood has contracted with Peak Democracy to monitor feedback shown on this website.

  • To prevent any single user from dominating the forum, Brentwood restricts the number of statement any one user can post on selected topics. Registration helps Peak Democracy enforce this restriction.

  • Users, staff and government leaders often want to know the neighborhood from which a statement is posted. Peak Democracy uses registration to show the neighborhood next to each statement (not the address).

  • If a user posts a statement that does not meet Brentwood guidelines for civility, Peak Democracy uses the user's email address to invite the user to resolve the issue.

I’m concerned about privacy. Who will get my contact information and what will they use it for?

Peak Democracy will get your contact information. The company is under contract with Brentwood to hold it in strict confidence per their privacy policy.

What other benefits do I get from signing in?

  • Since you'll see your own statement on Open Town Hall, you'll be able to confirm that your statement was posted as you intended.

  • You'll be able to change and/or delete your statement as long as the topic is open.

I’m still very concerned about privacy. Is there a way for me to submit a statement without registering?

Yes. Sign out, then set your privacy preference to be "No - just show it without my name to staff". You won't need to register.

What prevents an unregistered user from submitting multiple anonymous statements?

While no authentication procedure can perfectly detect every fraudulent registration, Peak Democracy is able to secure the registered channel against systematic fraud: cases where users submit enough statements with fraudulent registrations to sway the overall interpretation of the feedback.

Peak Democracy is unable to secure the unregistered channel against systematic fraud, because unregistered users are anonymous.

Neither the registered nor the unregistered channel represent a certified voting system or ballot box - and that caveat is footnoted on every page of feedback. Instead, both are additional channels for feedback to government.

Why are there two participation channels?

Users can participate on the registered channel (by signing in) or on the unregistered channel (by remaining anonymous). Brentwood offers both channels in order to broaden participation and maximize decision makers' insights.

The registered channel enables users to assure decision makers that their feedback comes from a real person in a specific neighborhood. It also enables users to participate in a public discussion on the website, as well as manage their own statement after posting it.

The unregistered channel is for users who want to provide quick feedback without registering, and/or whose privacy concerns would prevent them from participating if required to register. Because many users with valuable insights will only share them anonymously, this channel gives decision makers the option to consider those insights in their deliberations.

What is Peak Democracy?

Peak Democracy is a non-partisan company whose mission is to broaden civic engagement and build public trust in government. Brentwood has contracted with Peak Democracy to administer Open Town Hall.