Steve Ressler

City of Santa Cruz used the tool uservoice.com as a way to dialogue with citizens on solutions. I would look at tools like them (others include IdeaScale and Google Moderator) that allow citizens to submit their ideas without driving to meetings.

Also simple live-streaming of the meetings onto the web would be great as well.

Another idea is a blog on the topics you are facing and citizens can comment in the blog to share ideas.