Saanich wants to hear from the public about how the municipality can improve its financial and strategic planning process.
Saanich, in other words, is launching a process to improve a process.
Mayor Richard Atwell said this initiative would lead to a “more inclusive process” in responding to recommendations from Saanich’s Governance Review Citizen’s Advisory Committee to improve strategic planning and budgeting.
Saanich residents will have several ways to participate in this process.
They include pop-ups at community events to learn more about the current process and options for involvement, one-on-one meetings with community groups representing a variety of stakeholders, as well as an online survey and weekly polls to capture feedback on specific questions.
For more information, visit Saanich.ca/YourSayYourWay for more information including a calendar of events, online feedback opportunities and background materials. Follow the discussion on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #YourSayYourWay.
Bruce Kennedy, with Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria, said his group is pleased that Saanich is taking some preliminary steps to seek public input regarding its strategic and financial planning.
“We, in fact, have been contacted by a consultant at Dialogue Partners to provide some feedback,” he said. “We believe that Saanich is contacting groups that had expressed some interest in this area previously which is a positive step in the right direction.”
But he also raised questions about the sincerity of the project. “One has to wonder why they would launch this initiative for only five weeks in the middle of the summer,” he said. “Generally you would always expect to get the lowest participation rate during this summer period.”
He also questioned the methodology of the survey. “The questions are clearly designed to allow Saanich to gather information but provide no meaningful information to the community,” he said. “It appears to be designed to gauge public interest but provides no real information to actually engage the public in the process.”