Virtual Town Hall FAQs

Virtual Town HallThe city values the opinions of its citizens and wants them to be more engaged in their communities and their government. In fact, feedback from residents is vital to Virginia Beach’s success. Virtual Town Hall is a new Web-based citizen engagement tool that the city will utilize to help gather residents’ thoughts about city projects and initiatives with the goal of incorporating this feedback in the decision-making process. Citizens will be able to indicate budgetary priorities, share opinions and review what fellow residents are saying about current issues in an easy-to-use and civil forum.

Virtual Town Hall is run by Peak Democracy, a non-partisan company whose mission is to broaden civic engagement and build public trust in government. They will keep your information confidential per their strict privacy agreement.

As with any public comment process, participation in Virtual Town Hall is voluntary; city officials will consider input from this forum along with other participation channels.

While we cannot guarantee the outcome of the issues posted on this forum, we can guarantee that your voice will be heard. Thoughtful, substantive comments will be read and considered with the same respect and consideration afforded comments provided orally at public meetings. Thanks for helping us build a better Virginia Beach.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Forum Work?

City officials or departments will use Virtual Town Hall to ask citizens for their input on a particular issue or initiative. Once registered with a name and home address, citizens may share one comment with the city and other residents. Participants’ first and last name will be visible to the public.

What Are the Rules for Posting Comments?


As a community, we expect these forums to be free of profanity and personal attacks. Peak Democracy, the company that manages the forum, monitors every comment for decorum and civility. Comments that attack other users, resort to profanity, name calling, hate speech, etc. will be removed and the person who posted will be asked to revise their comment. The vast majority of people who post are respectful. Less than one percent of comments are removed by Peak Democracy.

On Topic:

​Irrelevant comments will also be removed from the forum.

Multiple Posts:

Each user is only allowed to make one comment. The purpose of this policy is to prevent one person from dominating the conversation.


There are no length limitations for comments and users may edit their comment as much as they like, even at a later date.


Comments are not completely anonymous. Each forum participant’s first name, last name and voting district will appear with their comment. This identifying information will be publicly available. Your home address is not visible. Read the privacy agreement.

Why Must I Register with My Name and Address?

All users must register in order to participate in the topic forum. When you post your first statement, you will be asked for your name and home address. This confidential information is only used to authenticate users and then identify statements from residents in and near Virginia Beach. Anyone, even individuals who do not live in Virginia Beach, may share their opinions in the topic forums; however, it is helpful for other residents and the city to know where comments are originating. For instance, if the city asked a question about the design of a library in Pungo, it may be helpful to isolate and analyze the opinions of people who live in the district near that library relative to individuals who may live on the other side of the city. Read the privacy agreement.

How Will I Know When New Topics Are Posted?

Once you have registered for Virginia Beach Virtual Town Hall, the system will send you an email any time a new topic forum is posted. The system will also notify users when topics they have commented on are updated. Virtual Town Hall will also accommodate registered users who prefer to have new topic notifications and other updates be sent to their cell phone via text message.

What Will the City Do with this Information?

It is important to realize that responding to questions in a topic forum is not the same as voting. City officials will carefully consider input from this forum in the decision-making process. The city cannot guarantee the outcome of the issues posted on this forum, but we do guarantee that your voice will be heard. All comments will be read and considered with the same respect and consideration afforded comments provided orally at public meetings.

How Can I Find Out What Decision Was Ultimately Made after the Topic Forum Closed?

Anytime changes are made to a topic forum, individuals who have participated in that forum will be notified. Additionally, once the topic forum is closed, the city official or agency that requested feedback will post an update explaining how the responses were used and what action has been taken following the public comment period.

Are Citizens Able to Capture Community Feedback As Well?

Yes. Any registered user may print a comprehensive report detailing responses to each topic forum for sharing with neighborhood associations, citizen groups or any other purpose.

Who has access to my name and address?

Your full name will appear with your post, however, your address is not visible and city employees do not have access to it. A company called Peak Democracy manages the Virtual Town Hall program and they will never share your contact information with anyone, including the city, without your permission, unless they are required to do so by law. Read Peak Democracy’s Privacy Policy.

When I select my answer and click “post,” I don’t see anything when the page refreshes, why not?

Some browsers automatically open the response page at the bottom of the page rather than at the top. Simply scroll up to complete your comment.

I want to remove my comment from the forum. How can I delete it?

Before electing to delete your comment, please be aware that you are welcome to sign in and edit your comment or even change your mind entirely. However, if you would still like to remove your comment, you will need to send an email to Peak Democracy, the company that manages Virtual Town Hall. Simply address an email to requesting that your comment be removed. Be sure to include your full name and send the message from the email address you used to register. You may also contact Peak Democracy by clicking the “Help” link in top right corner of the Virtual Town Hall window.