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County staff present ‘new approach to citizen engagement’

Staff will present a draft overview of a Resident Resources program designed to increase input and participation from County citizens.

The program, an alternate approach to the traditional sub-commitee system, will be discussed at Thursday’s committee of whole meeting.

A report prepared by clerk Victoria Leskie indicates the program is believed to be unique among municipalities as it offers unlimited and unrestricted citizen participation and a random selection process for specific projects and issues.

“Initally the idea was presented as an alternative to the sub-committee system (advisory and ad hoc committees),” the report states. “Council and public comment identified reluctance to take this step, at least until the new approach proved successful. As a result, it has been created as an enhancement to the sub-commitee system.

The program envisions an unlimited number of citizens to form a resource pool that the municipality could draw from for:
– participation in working groups, focus groups, surveys, polls
-specific advice, recommendations
-assisting with a specific project
-gathering information or research
-providing feedback on documents and concepts

“In exchange, the municipality will commit to provide a comprehensive orientation and ongoing information and education about the Corporation of the County of Prince Edward to the participants.”

Council would have the option of referring matters or seeking participation on a matter if it determines that public or specific expert input is beneficial. Departments may also access the resource, determine the most appropriate method for the matter at hand and carrying out the selected engagement process.

Approval of the overview would be followed by project planning with an implementation date of 2013.

Full report here:

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