WITHIN the first 90 days of being elected, mayoral candidate Doug McCallum and the Safe Surrey Coalition (SSC) say they will strike a Mayor’s Standing Committee on public engagement. The objective will be to develop and implement world-class communications strategies and processes between residents and the city.
Standing Committees consist of 50% citizens, 50% council members, and are chaired by the mayor.
It will be based on the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Spectrum of Public Participation. The PEC is a policy framework that involve citizens in planning and developing the community. It’s based on the aspirations and goals to inform, consult, involve, collaborate and empower, each with a corresponding commitment of Surrey and the public.
“This is a key component of the Smart Development pillar of our Coalition’s platform,” McCallum said on Monday. “The old standard ways of communication and decision making simply aren’t effective anymore. For example, many of the zoning and development approval processes were written before the advent of social media. Today residents expect to be more involved in the planning and development of their communities, especially when it comes to environmental concerns.
“In Surrey we clearly need a fresh approach and it’s a decade overdue. Issues like City Hall pushing ahead with Light Rail Transit (LRT) while the majority of citizens want SkyTrain, and the two separate environmental protests last Saturday – both organized by citizens – are symptoms of Surrey’s broken public engagement processes.”
SSC Council candidate Doug Elford noted: “Clearly we need to do a better job with communications. The people who work for the City of Surrey don’t want to be at odds with the public. We should all be working together to build a better future.”