Lloydminster residents had a chance to learn more about city programs through the Your Voice community engagement session.
City staff gathered in Lloydminster Comprehensive High School’s gym in the evening of Tuesday, November 3, to share information about city initiatives through interactive displays, answer questions, and gather feedback.
The session was held in an informal fashion, where attendees could go from table to table to talk to people, rather than a formal question and answer session. Sharon Herbus, director of strategy with the city, says she felt it would be easier to engage the public that way.
“It created an environment where we allow people to have one-on-one conversations,” Herbus said. “In a typical forum-type setting you’ve got certain people that can ask the questions, and not everyone likes to engage in a large setup. This actually created an intimate setting, where people can have one-on-one conversations, get their questions answered and provide feedback.”
City councillor Linnea Goodhand had voiced her frustration at the last city council meeting, at what she felt was a low level of engagement from the community to the Dollars and Sense budget survey. She says she was happy with the level of attendance to Tuesday’s event.
“I’m really impressed by the numbers of people that [came] out,” Goodhand said. “I take back my frustration, I’m very pleased to see people coming out. I do think this is a different kind of forum; an online survey targets a certain demographic, and I think this type of evening targets a different demographic, and I guess the upside is, maybe we’re going to hear from as many people as we possibly can with these different tools that we’re using to engage the public.”
One of the topics up for discussion was the review of the Code of Conduct for Elected Officials. Ken Helmeczi, a field agent from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, attended the evening to discuss the review, and the contract signed by the city and Jeff Mulligan’s company, AHHA Moments Inc. He says he’s pleased to see the community’s response to the controversy.
“I’m impressed,” Helmeczi said. “A lot of people say ‘Who cares? Who gives a damn?’ Well it’s nice to see that there are people in this community that do care, and they do give a damn, and it shows in their active responses just to this issue… 99% [of people I’ve talked to] are thrilled that this issue was brought into the public spotlight and that there’s a follow-through happening, because there was a huge amount of disgust, disillusion, and anger when the mayor said ‘We consider this matter closed’. No matter is closed until the rate-payers say it’s closed.”
Other topics discussed included the Purchasing and Procurement Policy, the Proposed Land Use Bylaw, and the Transportation Master Plan, the Facilities Master Plan, Downtown Revitalization, and the Community Housing Initiative Program.
Anyone who was unable to attend the engagement and would like to share their views on a specific topic can email [email protected].