Powell River residents are joining the conversation since the city launched its new public engagement platform, called Participate Powell River, on Friday, November 1.
By means of multiple tools, including surveys, polls, forums, stories, questions, places, and ideas, participatepr.ca gives vastly more people access to information and enables them to have their say in shaping projects, policies, and initiatives.
“We’re committed to working more closely with the community to improve engagement, and better guide our planning and decision making,” said Economic Development and Communications Director, Scott Randolph. “Not everyone can attend council meetings or public hearing and information events and this new engagement tool can engage more people in discussions that shape the city.”
The online platform is a subscription service called EngagementHQ from Bang the Table and is used by municipal and senior level governments around the world.
In following the city’s communications policy of openness, transparency and accountability, participatepr.ca ensures a consistent, coordinated, pro-active, and responsive approach with the public, and provides clear, accurate, and objective information regarding the policies, bylaws, services, initiatives, and procedures.
“The site is different from social media platforms where comments and threads are often open to inaccurate information and even bullying,” said Randolph. Randolph said its important to note that 24/7 moderation is provided by a person, not an algorithm. Strict etiquette and moderation rules keep participants, site administrators, and third-parties safe from malicious, inflammatory, and illegal materials. Contributions and usernames that do not adhere to the moderation rules will be removed.
The first projects to go up on Participate Powell River are an update on the construction of the new wastewater treatment facility; the regional Childcare Planning Project; introduction of a new garbage collection program; a mapping project for new bike rack locations and a photo contest.
Soon to be added for public engagement are the Parks and Trails Masterplan and the Recreation Complex Rehabilitation Program.