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Coquitlam town hall on Saturday

Coquitlam residents with concerns ranging from potholes to property taxes can raise their issues before city council and managers at a town hall meeting tomorrow (Saturday).

City hall has set three hours for the open-microphone event, which starts at 10 a.m. in the Mike Butler Room at Dogwood Pavilion (624 Poirier St.).

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said several dozen people usually attend town hall exercises, of which only one is scheduled for this year. Typically, the city hosts two per year but council has not slated another for the fall.

At last September’s town hall meeting, topics raised included: the cost of Spirit Square (south of city hall); Burke Mountain development; traffic congestion around the renovated Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex; the lack of a skateboard park in Maillardville; the need for more covered tennis courts; city labour contacts; and the future of the Riverview Hospital grounds.

As well, Sheena MacLeod, Coquitlam’s manager of financial services, gave a lengthy presentation on the city’s budget.

Town hall meetings are “a citizens’ forum,” Stewart said. “This is an opportunity for them to ask the questions and for them to set the agenda. We come, as council, with no agenda on Saturday. We come with the intent to listen, to hear and to respond.

“For me, it’s an incredibly valuable day because it does allow all of council to hear directly from citizens but it also allows all the people in the room to hear the wide range of issues that council has to address.”

Stewart noted the difficulty to get people involved in government issues and politics, and he pointed to voter participation on election days. For Monday’s federal election, the turnout was around 60% in both Tri-City ridings; in Coquitlam, for the municipal contest, the turnout usually hovers around 20%.

For more information on the May 7 town hall meeting, go to www.coquitlam.ca and click on the link.

 

jwarren@tricitynews.com

 

 

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