One more week.
That's how long Coquitlam residents have left to provide their input on how they believe the city can put a comprehensive engagement strategy when it comes to important community decisions.
The deadline is Sept. 17, 2021, to complete an online survey that the city believes will help determine which areas of city hall are working and where improvement is needed.
According to city spokesperson Kathleen Vincent, the "made in Coquitlam" public engagement strategy is set to provide the following once completed in the fall:
- Examine the City’s current engagement model, identifying areas of success and opportunities for improvement while ensuring consistency and industry best practices across the organization for participants
- Specifically, it will follow the best practices of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2)
- Provide clarity of when, how and who to engage
- Consider how to enhance management of the data gathered through engagement activities
- Bring more diverse perspectives to the decision-making process
- Identify what additional resources may be required to support effective public participation
Currently, local residents get information out about policies, projects and plans through various digital and print platforms.
But the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way residents interact with local government, creating more pressure to improve consultation and include more diverse views, Nikki Caulfield, general manager of corporate services, wrote in a report to the city’s council-in-committee in early July.
Earlier this year, when Southwest Housing Review survey results were presented, councillors pushed city staff to get more young people involved in local government planning, especially on the housing affordability front.
In June, after a public hearing on a City Centre high-rise bid, some councillors criticized the public for not tuning in about what’s happening in their neighbourhoods.
In her report, Caulfield cited Coquitlam’s growing appetite for residents to be in the know:
- There were more than 14,400 total visits in 2020 via letstalkcoquitlam.ca (to comment on various projects underway)
- The 2019 Citizen Satisfaction Survey by Ipsos indicated Coquitlam residents wanted more chances to participate in surveys, online feedback forms and in small groups
A “made in Coquitlam solution” is tentatively scheduled to be presented for city council's consideration later this year or in early 2022.
Interested participants can find the survey on the engagement page of the Let's Talk Coquitlam website.
- with files from Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News