Street Beat: City of Plano uses YouTube to keep residents up to date with the latest news

Photography by Kathy Tran

What is the best way to learn more about Plano?

Try Stoler on the Street, the city’s latest attempt to educate residents about all sorts of things about the city.

Steve Stoler, Director of Media Operations at Plano, recently launched Stoler on the Street, a YouTube series aimed at promoting the city and educating residents.

It’s also a way to have a little fun for Stoler, who spent three decades as a television reporter for KDFW and WFAA before coming to town.

“I love doing it because it allows me to unleash just a little bit of creativity,” he says.

City Manager Mark Israelson came up with the idea because he thought it would be a great way to explain community issues through conversation.

Before starting the project, Stoler met with the directors of various city governments to create a list of more than 150 potential topics.

And this list keeps getting longer. From explaining city services to highlighting area amenities to promoting upcoming events, almost anything can be covered, according to Stoler.

“The thing is, so many people who live here have no idea what this city offers,” he says.

Even Israelson learned something about Plano from Stoler’s videos. The city manager didn’t know what specific city trails entailed until he watched the August 31 episode of the video series.

Stoler says his favorite episode of “Stoler on the Street” highlighted Plano’s parkland.

The video begins with a look at New York’s Central Park, with Stoler discussing Manhattan’s iconic park before abruptly switching to Plano as he discusses how our two preserves, Oak Point and Arbor Hills, actually have more acreage than the famous New York park.

Another favorite: Stoler recently visited a Plano water tower to highlight his annual inspection. What many people don’t realize is that each tower is inspected annually for structural integrity and sediment build-up. As part of the process, a contractor climbs the tower and deploys a small remote control device with a camera. Another member of the contractor team maneuvers the device with a video game controller while watching video of the inspection on the screen. The information is stored for forwarding to city officials.

Stoler says his goal is to produce two videos each week. For the past few months, he’s discussed everything from ongoing library repairs and recreation center costs to animal adoptions and pool repairs. He says there’s no telling where he might show up next.

“It’s a lot of fun for me and it also gets me out of the office,” he says.

You can find Stoler on the Street on YouTube. If you have ideas for video themes, email Stoler at .

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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