There’s a new online way for Vernon residents to provide input big projects city council is considering.
The city has launched a new website — called engagevernon.ca — to gather feedback.
“This will give Vernon residents the opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions, participate in surveys and polls,” says communications coordinator Tanya Laing Gahr.
Laing Gahr says the first topic is the 2018 budget which is taking comments on the site until the end of this month.
“Vernon residents have the opportunity to let us know what their budget priorities are, and whether they would like to increase, decrease, or maintain the recommended budget.”
Future topics could include the recreational master plan, lake shore development and Polson Park master plan.
The new site will augment the input given by residents at in-person meetings.
“We’ve been listening to residents and they’ve told us, it can be difficult going to meetings, due to jobs or mobility issues, and this gives them the opportunity to have their say from their own home.”
Laing Gahr says it’s a safe way to participate, outside of social media which she says can be uncomfortable or involve trolling.
“This is a moderated setting where people can feel free to give constructed thoughts and feedback to the city in a safe, protected and private way,” says Laing Gahr.
Laing Gahr says it’s mostly just for city residents.
“The people who pay taxes in the city, or those that have business in the city, are the ones we feel should have a say in the direction the city goes.”
Laing Gahr says residents of other communities can register on the site, but their feedback may not be used by council in their process.
The Engage Vernon webtool is provided by Bang the Table, a digital public engagement organization that uses the principles of the International Association of Public Participation to drive inclusive, sustainable and measurable public participation projects.