Monday, February 27, 2012 - 4:15 AM

Mayor's Symposium Brings Residents Together

More than 100 residents helped the City of St. John's launch its Municipal Plan Review with the Mayor's Symposium on Saturday, Feb. 25 at City Hall.

The Mayor's Symposium was facilitated by the Rural Secretariat and used keypad technology to allow residents to determine and rank their priorities for the next 10 years based on a series of broad development related questions.

"We have heard loud and clear from our residents that our standard form of public consultation has not been working and we needed to try something different," says Councillor At Large Tom Hann, chair of the Planning and Housing Standing Committee. "This was a very unique engagement process for us and I would like to thank all of the residents who took part and helped provide input which we will use to plan our next level of public consultations."

Participants were broken up into round tables, with each table having a facilitator and a recorder who captured what residents were saying. The day centred around seven discussion questions and a series of keypad polling questions. All of the results from the day were captured and will be released.

"It was wonderful to see a room full of residents who so clearly care about our City and the direction we are going," says Mayor Dennis O'Keefe. "This was a great opportunity for us to get their opinions on a number of key areas that are dealt with in our Municipal Plan and I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to participate in what was a very interesting day for us all."

The Mayor's Symposium was the first step in the Municipal Plan review process which is anticipated to take a year and a half to complete and will be guided by a citizen advisory group.

The Municipal Plan Review will take at least 18 months to complete and additional meetings based on the data gathered at the Mayor's Symposium will be scheduled.

"This is the first step of a long journey," says Councillor Hann. "I hope everyone will remain as engaged and passionate about this process as the residents who registered for our Mayor's Symposium. It was a great experience and for those of us on Council who stayed as observers it was a great opportunity to get immediate input from a large cross-section of our City."

For further information:
Jennifer Mills
Communications Officer
City of St. John's
Phone: 709-570-2037
Cell: 709-690-7586
E-mail: jmills@stjohns.ca

Tom Hann
Councillor At Large
Chair, Planning and Housing Committee
City of St. John's
Phone: 576-8219
E-mail: thann@stjohns.ca