Friday, March 13, 2015

Monday night delivered a glimpse of the future for community engagement from City Council

Audience participation levels may have been low, but the experiment of participatory consultation seemed to work out fairly well on Monday night, as Prince Rupert City Council introduced an electronic approach to gauging interest on civic initiatives.

Using smart phones, computer options and old fashioned paper ballots for those in the Lester Centre not yet fond of electronic devices, City staff put a number of questions up for consideration.

The Mayor opened up the consultation session by outlining how the audience participation process would work and then together, those in the Lester Centre and those watching at home went over the four questions listed for the exercise.

The Questions and the accompanying vote totals can be reviewed below:

1) Do You consider a 1.9 per cent increase to the mill rate to be reasonable?
Yes ( 25  )    No ( 9 )

2)  Do you agree that the City needs an asset management plan?
Yes ( 29  )    No ( 1 )

3) Do you support using Legacy Inc. funds to provide the capacity the City needs to plan for major projects?
Yes ( 29  )    No ( 3 )

4) Do you support a full time Mayor
Yes ( 27  )    No ( 5  )

And while the audience participation from Monday night's sample was obviously not large enough to offer up a true reading of how the community may feel about the issues presented, the concept of seeking consultation from the public through the electronic options is something that could prove to be instructive once it gets wider acceptance.

You can review the exhibition of participatory consultation from the City's Video Archive, the presentation and community voting process starts at the one hour eight minute mark.

The Mayor and City staff haven't expanded as of yet on what the new era of consultancy might look like moving forward, but residents may get a bit more of a review in the not too distant future.

As part of Monday night's presentation the Mayor offered up a quick review of his plans to host more public community engagement sessions in the future, with the Town hall concept hopefully to start sometime in April.

For more items related to Prince Rupert city council developments see our Council Discussion page here.

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