Since I was first elected Mayor in 2008, I’ve always prioritized improving communication between our citizenry and Town Hall. Accordingly, I’m proud to say that over the past eight years, we’ve made some great strides through a variety of approaches.
This Creston Valley Advance article is one example of how our awesome local newspaper provides a forum for each of the Town Councilors to provide their view on matters of interest. Other paper forums I contribute to include the Town of Creston’s Newsletter and i Love Creston magazine. For the latter I have written more than 80 articles over the years on various topics.
Last year, our local radio station JuiceFM went live in August and I believe their airwave presence to be of real benefit to our community. I have had the privilege of participating in a weekly “Mayor’s Minute” interview almost every Wednesday since they went “on air”. I can’t help but note that there have been some good laughs along the way – you never know what that host is going to say!
My quarterly “Coffee Talk” events, held at a number of venues throughout the community, provide the opportunity for the public to meet informally with myself as Mayor, Creston’s RCMP S/Sgt, the Creston Fire Chief and the local Public Safety Compliance Officer. Our next “Coffee Talk” will be held downtown in Black Bear Books on Thursday November 24th from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Come on down and have a coffee with us, and discuss what’s on your mind.
As a Council and an organization we value the opportunity to meet with citizens to discuss what matters to you! This has been reflected in our robust public engagement process that was undertaken for our Official Community Plan. 262 people participated in “kitchen table talks”; 261 people participated in the OCP “scavenger hunt” style challenge; six community events included 2200 event visitors; and 174 one on one interviews were conducted. What a resounding success!
Most recently, we held an Open House in conjunction with the Fall Fair. This Open House was the first step in informing the public about the potential for a new Fire Hall. Prior to going to Referendum in 2017, the Town has committed to providing people with a common knowledge base upon which an informed decision can be made. During the two-day public Open House, over 500 people came through the presentation venue. For more information on this project and the process check out http://www.crestonfirehallproject.com/
The importance of online information can’t be underestimated. I believe that one of the greatest tools we have for ongoing communication is our Town’s website (www.creston.ca). This site went live in early 2009 and this year (2016) has seen extensive upgrades with improved organization, enhanced features and a new look. Please register with the site’s “notify me” feature and you will automatically be emailed information and updates on topics and events that interest you. These could include: “Bids & Tenders” notifications; receiving copies of the Town’s newsletter; “News Flash” announcements; notices of community events, Town Council and Committee meeting schedules and other important dates relating to our Town Hall; and my own “Mayor’s Communique’s.”
Of course, the traditional open door policy still exists. Drop into Town Hall located on 10th Avenue North to see me or make an appointment in advance to secure a defined time. My posted days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9AM to 4PM – but usually you’ll find me sitting behind the desk throughout the week. You can also write a letter (Box 1339, V0B 1G0), send and e-mail (email@example.com) or pick up the phone (250 428 2214 extension 227)