The purpose of these first steps is to consult the public and obtain feedback which will elaborate the municipality’s development plans and help evaluate where the community stands in respect to its own development. These initial meetings should be social and relaxed presentations in a casual meet-and-greet atmosphere which includes light refreshments.
The promotion for the meetings has to be professional and youth-friendly and distributed in print format as well as through social media channels and word-of-mouth. The community has to feel that their input will be taken into account and included in development plans or they will not attend these initial meetings. However, it should be clear these are not forums for dissent and grievances with council are best heard in the municipal council setting.
Who do you invite?
- Municipal councillors
- Representation from volunteer organizations
- Representation from all age groups
- Representation from both official languages
- Community leaders
How to get started
Participants will be asked to express ideas and priorities in relation to:
- family services
- community heritage
- arts and culture
- sports and leisure
- municipal infrastructures
- business development
- industrial development
- residential development
- community beautification
There is room to add additional development options, but always maintaining the economic approach. This feedback is then compiled and used to build each municipality’s development plans.
In the case of communities with a small population base and limited numbers of community members who are mobilized and involved in multiple initiatives, it is a good practice to adopt a dual approach to social and economic development. This approach avoids volunteer burnout and addresses issues such as social exclusion and poverty – without certain social development mechanisms, economic gains cannot be realized.
It is beneficial to request that interested participants include their name and contact information on sign-up sheets which correspond to their area of interest with regards to development so that they can be invited to join a formal development committee.