September 24, 2017

Communication Breakdown

Cathy meeting people at the doors June 10, 2017

Many residents feel that they have not been properly consulted before major decisions were made. Information needs to be shared in such a way as to encourage more community engagement. I have heard numerous comments that the residents don’t feel like they have been properly informed of issues in a timely manner.

Simple and to the point: We have very qualified Communications staff that should be better utilized. I will push for more direct, timely information both in print and online, using plain language to explain the issues. The residents of Chestermere want to know what is going to be dealt with in upcoming Council Meetings. Most of us don’t know what Bylaw 011-15 deals with, so we need to let you know what will actually be discussed and how it will affect you and your neighbours.

Listen before decisions are made: You need to know how and when you can make your concerns known. If there is an opportunity for you to ask questions at a council meeting, you may want to attend and may need to make special arrangements. If we can ensure that your voices are heard, the new council will have a better chance at making decisions based on your views and needs.

An overview of how important decisions are made: Not every decision will be a popular one, but when a decision is made, you have a right to know why and you need to know that your opinions matter and were taken into consideration. There is talk about recording and maybe even livestreaming the Council Meetings. This is a great idea, but doesn’t help if there is something you wanted to contribute to and the meeting is already in progress.

We have to find better ways for a two way conversation: This conversation starts at your doors and at the events leading up to the election, but it must continue in order for the new council to be successful in moving toward an even better Chestermere.