Friday, March 6, 2015

City's Budget Presentation Monday to feature community engagement through electronic voting

One of the themes of the last election campaign was an interest by some of the candidates to seek out more community engagement on civic issues.

Something that at times gets a lot of talk, but less in the way of constructive action.

Next week, we get a glimpse at one initiative that City council members and staff plan to unveil, a project designed to create more interest in the work and procedures of City Hall.

As part of a previously announced shift of City Council proceedings to the Lester Centre this coming Monday, Prince Rupert City Council will be providing opportunity for those taking in the presentation to cast a vote on a number of discussion points.

At the last Council meeting in February, Council outlined its plan to take the March 9th Council session to the larger venue of the Lester Centre, in anticipation of an increase in interest and potential public comment related to the 2015 Budget preparations that they are currently working on.

Towards that plan, Monday night's session will feature a Budget Presentation from Corinne Bomben, the City's Chief Financial Officer and a public comment period to follow.

In addition to those opportunities for more information, the evening will also feature the City's Administration staff projecting multiple choice questions for the public to vote on.

Each of the questions that Council will pose to the audience will appear on screen for five minutes and during that time, residents will have the opportunity to provide their input to the Council by way of answers, using three methods to vote.

Those inclined to participate can use a browser on any computer or smart phone to seek access to the this website, from there they will be prompted further to deliver an answer.

As well, residents can use Texting methods - by sending their answer to TextCITYOFPR at 780-800-5606, from there to join in, users select A, B, or C.

The third method is by use of mobile apps for iPhone or Android devices,  to use that method residents should search for the app Poll Everywhere.

The City outlined their plan on Thursday with a notice posted to the City website.

The project is indeed an interesting experiment, so it will be well worth watching to see not only how the actual mechanics of the electronic consultation works out, but how inclined the audience for Monday's meeting is to join in on the new focus to community engagement.

Monday's Council session starts at 7 PM at Lester Centre of the Arts. Those that plan to attend can review the Agenda for the evening here.

For more items related to developments from Prince Rupert City Hall see our archive page here.

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