For far too long the very idea of public engagement has been premised on developer proposals or city initiatives. That is, should a commercial builder be interested in putting up a structure in your neighbourhood, or should the city be set to introduce a change in policy or a seminal, new by-law, your Councillor will meet with members of your community, typically along with a representative of the commercial builder or city staff, to discuss concerns and impacts. It's a good approach to dealing with issues, but it is proposal-dependent and thus limited.
What if you or your neighbours have issues to raise, that may not be but ought to be on the "radar" of the city or of a developer?
My platform proposal on public engagement is based on this simple truth - by its very nature, municipal government is a form of government close to the people it serves. So it is that Councillor availability, regardless of city or developer machinations, should be the norm.
I commit to starting and maintaining quarterly community forums, to enable Ward residents to ask questions of, and raised issues with, their Councillor.
I envisage a quarterly forum each for the residents of Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South, Heron Park, the Glebe, the Glebe Annex, and Carleton University.
The forums will be in addition to community engagement sessions concerning city or developer initiatives.
In addition to providing residents with opportunities to bring issues to their Councillor's attention, the forums will serve as a means of informing residents about the progress of the various policy proposals within my platform, thus ensuring I remain accountable to residents.