As a politician, or collection of politicians, gathering public input should always be seen as a good idea.
Provided there’s some substantial actual action to follow.
Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne, delivering on a campaign promise, held a roundtable event in January with some 65 citizens, council members and city staff, to discuss the visions for Parksville’s future.
Identified as top priorities were affordable housing and homelessness, public safety, health care, economic development and recreation.
Mayne presented the results this week.
“The goal of the event was to start an open conversation with the members from the Parksville community and to learn what our residents love about this city and what priority actions the community wishes this council to focus on during its term of office,” Mayne said in the report’s summary.
“There will be many more opportunities for council to engage with citizens as we develop the action plan for the next 3.5 years.”
Now let’s seem some action.
There’s always plenty of concern. Just using affordable housing as an example. In September of last year, a public meeting in Parksville was hosted by Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, who called the situation a crisis.
A total of $7 billion in the Government of B.C.’s 2018 budget is for use in creating affordable housing over the next 10 years. But what, if anything, gets built, depends in large part on local politicians, partnerships between the public and private sector, and community members themselves, they said.
Affordable housing to attract younger people and provide workers for local business, affordable places for people of all ages to live, decrease homelessness and addiction and development of housing were identified by participants in Mayne’s roundtable as priorities in the next 12 months.
Excellent. Let’s get to it.
Participants in Mayne’s roundtable also discussed a desire to see more options for recreation, such as a cinema, multiplex sports complex, swimming pool, indoor track and festival and entertainment opportunities.
Only other groups and committees, including the Regional District of Nanaimo, have been talking about these kinds of things forever, with too little progress.
We’ll always be fans of talking and getting public input.
We’ll always be bigger fans of action and we hope this roundtable is the impetus for that.
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