Monday, February 6, 2012

THINK LOCALLY, ACT VOCALLY

I am in. I am registered for the Mayor's Symposium, which is the launch of the City's Municipal Plan Review.

Expecting heavy competition, I called the City's Department of Planning at 576-8220, expecting it to be like trying to win a radio contest. No busy signal, I was the 36th person in the city to register.  Folks have until Friday to register in what Mayor O'Keefe says " is a very important step for the City and will help chart our future direction for the next decade."

 Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis starting Monday, Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. until Friday, Feb. 10 ending at 4:30 p.m. for the Mayor's Symposium, which is the launch of the City's Municipal Plan Review. The symposium will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Foran/Greene Room on the fourth floor of St. John's City Hall.

 The symposium will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Foran/Greene Room on the fourth floor of St. John's City Hall.Interested residents can also register via e-mail  at planning@stjohns.ca..
Registrants are required to provide contact information so materials regarding the Mayor's Symposium and Municipal Plan Review can be sent out in advance of the event.

The Mayor's Symposium is being facilitated by the Rural Secretariat and will help determine priorities for areas of study and potential future meetings as the City undertakes the Municipal Plan review process which is anticipated to take a year and a half to complete.

Councillor At Large Tom Hann, chair of the Planning and Housing Standing Committee. says in City's news release, that "The City has been experiencing a period of unprecedented economic growth," says  "Housing starts have averaged over 600 homes per year over the past five years and commercial development has grown by $424 million over the same period. Total building permits issued by the City in the past six years stands at $1.8 billion. With this level of development taking place we know that it is imperative we take a good long look at development in our City and update our Municipal Plan and Development Regulations.
"It is important that we move forward with this process now,"

I think this council should be congratulated for it's leadership in providing the public with an opportunity to get involved in the process. As well, this open, transparency provides residents with the opportunity to be educated on the decision making process. 





It is easy to sit on the sidelines and be critical of the city's approach to providing water, sewer, recreational services, snow clearing, repairing infrastructure and tax rates. However there is a much bigger planning picture that hinges on priorities, expenditures and income. Knowing these details makes for informed criticism. Participating provides our elected municipal representatives a sense of what our priorities for the future are.

The Mayor's Symposium will take a general view of the City from a development standpoint and use 'clicker' technology that will allow residents to determine and rank their priorities for the next 10 years based on a series of questions. There will be further opportunities to get involved in the review process including public meetings on specific issues, neighbourhood public meetings and stakeholder meetings.

It is a win-win for everyone.


So act locally. Get engaged. Be informed. Take Action!


Register now and join the discussion!

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