Last week, someone emailed me with an idea for the city, asking: “How do I get the city’s attention on this?”
I gave her some advice, which I will now share with you as well.
First, consider whose jurisdiction you are in. Is this a city problem, Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) problem, provincial problem, or federal problem? Try to direct your inquiry or idea to the right place, or it will get lost.
If your idea is addressing a problem, such as for example the lack of an outhouse at Moses Falls, share your concern with the city on See Click Fix. It is the city’s website where all complaints are tracked and the correct person is assigned to respond.
The website is: seeclickfix.com/can_revelstoke.
If you have bigger ideas that will impact the long-term growth and development of the city, there are several ways to share them.
First, check talkrevelstoke.ca. This is the official platform that the city uses to collect feedback from the public. Your comments on Facebook don’t count. Make sure you take the official surveys and use the official platform.
The city is currently collecting feedback on several master plans as well as the Official Community Plan. If we go back to our example, you participate in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan update. There is currently a community survey, with a July 26 deadline, an option to sign up for a workshop as well as a place to ask the department questions.
Find it at talkrevelstoke.ca/parks-rec-master-plan.
Other projects on the Talk Revelstoke site include the Official Community Plan, which outlines the process and upcoming opportunities for engagement as well as has a place for you to add your thought on the opportunities and challenges Revelstoke will be facing in the future
The city is also working on updating the Building Bylaw, the Liquid Waste Management Plan and the Zoning Bylaw, as well as creating the Johnson Heights Neighbourhood Plan.
Information about the possible ban in single use plastics, the city’s annual report and the I3️Revy project are also all available on Talk Revelstoke.
Each initiative has the option to subscribe so that you get updates right to your inbox when they are posted. I highly recommend using this tool, as it is what the city is using to collect official feedback.
Other ways to get the city’s attention include letters, petitions and connecting with a city councillor.
If you are creating a petition, get the official forms from the city. The city won’t accept an online petition as there is a need to verify if each of the people who signed it actually lives in Revelstoke.
If you are writing a letter, send it to the Revelstoke Review as well. If you aren’t ready to go on the record, send it to me “for information only” or say it is off the record, and I can look into it.
I would also recommend trying to get a meeting with a city councillor in-person.
That human connection, emotions and all, is the best way to get your point across. Tell them how it impacts your life and then ask them what they think they can do.
Have some reasonable suggestions in your back pocket if they ask what you want them to do: talk to the rest of council, see what other people in the community think, look for immediate as well as long-term solutions.
And, when all of this doesn’t work.
Get more people to join your cause. Write more letters. Get more signatures. Have more meetings. Fill out more surveys and give more comments.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease.