Got something to say about West Vancouver council matters but don't want to make the trip to district hall? The district's now got you covered with the launch of westvancouverITE, an online platform designed to boost community engagement in ways typically only possible by attending meetings.
"West Vancouver has many important decisions to make for which we need input and direction from residents, but we recognize that people have busy lives and can't make it to a stream of open houses and council meetings," said Mayor Michael Smith in a press release. "This service lets those people inform themselves about issues and reach us with their thoughts and opinions without always having to come to meetings."
The district launched the service this week to coincide with Park Royal's application to build condo towers at the corner of Marine Drive and Taylor Way.
Members of the public have always been able to fire off an email to council members and have their comments included in the public record, but the new online engagement tool aims to take that to another level. Along with a convenient form for submitting comments, the service includes easily accessible video presentations by staff, developers and project consultants - similar to what residents would get if they were sitting in municipal hall.
"It has more interactive properties and we're able to share more information," said Jeff McDonald, district spokesman.
The district is seeking a legal opinion on whether online comments can be considered as part of a public hearing.
Comments appear, with the submitter's name (if they choose to use one) online almost immediately. Information is also presented to council to inform the decision making process. The next item up for public consultation and discussion on the site is the district's 2014 budget. Visit the site at westvancouver. ca/westvancouverITE/
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