The City of Chilliwack is asking residents if they want a return to public consultation, using mostly online methods. (Chilliwack Progress file)

The City of Chilliwack is asking residents if they want a return to public consultation, using mostly online methods. (Chilliwack Progress file)

City of Chilliwack hopes to re-start public consultation

A new survey asks residents if they’re ready to discuss projects not related to COVID-19

The City of Chilliwack is wondering if locals are ready to move past COVID-19 and restore public consultation on municipal projects.

The Community Engagement Readiness Survey is just six questions long and starts by asking, “Are you ready to talk with us about projects that are not related to COVID-19?”

The city lists climate change, neighborhood planning and vessel speed restrictions on the Vedder River as potential topics for community feedback.

“It’s important for us to know if our community is ready to move forward with meaningful public consultation,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “For a while it felt like we were all just waiting for the next COVID-19 update, but in the background our staff has continued to develop projects that will enhance our community.”

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Things like open houses and public meetings have been put on hold during the pandemic and may not return anytime soon. The survey suggests the city is prepared to put traditional approaches to public consultation aside, choosing instead options like email and phone communication, video conferencing, taped presentations, live streaming, physically distant small group discussions and in-person meetings by appointment.

The survey asks which of the new options would be welcomed, and asks survey-takers what their comfort level is with online platforms like Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.

The Community Engagement Readiness Survey is available now at chilliwack.com/engage, and remains available until July 24.

For residents who prefer to complete the survey on paper, a copy will be printed in the July 16 edition of the Chilliwack Progress. Hard copies of the survey can also be picked up from the General Inquiries window at City Hall or downloaded and printed from chilliwack.com/engage.

Completed surveys can be returned to the City Hall drop box at 8550 Young Road.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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