New public input strategy starts

The days of City of Red Deer open houses may be numbered.

The days of City of Red Deer open houses may be numbered.

Dubbed Amplify Red Deer, the city launched a new public engagement strategy to improve its interactions with residents at a press conference at the Collicutt Centre on Wednesday.

Coun. Tara Veer, acting as deputy mayor, said the world has changed with technology and social media and residents weren’t necessarily engaging in traditional means used by the city, such as open houses.

Veer said what they have seen in some of the more controversial issues over the past year or so has been citizens engaging after the issue has transpired.

“Our goal is to get it right the first time,” said Veer.

“So the hope is if we can engage with citizens on the front end that hopefully in our decision-making we will recognize our community values and opinions on the front end and do things right the first time on the front end.”

Julia Harvie-Shemko, director of communications and strategic planning, said they realize they don’t always reach everybody through their open houses, advertising and other efforts.

Harvie-Shemko said the decisions made by council directly impact the lives of residents.

She said they want to hear from the public at the right time, when they can make the right impact on projects so it does not cost more time or money.

Making the processes better and easier for residents to get involved is a major goal.

Harvie-Shemko said they do not want to be stuck in the “open house” rut where the processes are the same, but there will likely be some open houses.

“We want you to get loud, Red Deer,” said Harvie-Shemko. “We want you to turn up the volume on public engagement.”

The project has been in the works for several years. It stems from the dialogue charter, one of the six themes in the city’s 2012-2014 strategic plan. The dialogue charter has a $116,690 budget over three years to improve public engagement and interaction with the city.

Throughout June, there will be focus groups, social media discussions and polling and small group discussions. The city is also encouraging residents to pick up a workbook for small group discussions available at City Hall or by downloading online at This portion of the project will end in June.

Findings from Amplify Red Deer will be summarized in a Report to the Community and presented to Red Deer city council for consideration by early 2014.

Just Posted

Red Deer’s Canyon Ski Resort is ready for the 2019 Canada Winter Games

The upgrades prepare the resort to host free-style skiing and snowboarding events

Red Deer man patrols streets at night after his truck was stolen twice in 3 months

‘I stay up every single night, they drive around, they test every car door…’

One of the last buildings needed for Red Deer’s 2019 Winter Games is being completed

RDC residence is on schedule, despite ‘tight’ time-frame, says RDC official

Police, firefighters, paramedics taught counter terrorism this week in Red Deer

Three-day course led by experts on fighting terrorists

Lowry has strong words for Raptors’ lack of communication after loss

TORONTO — Raptors coach Nick Nurse might not have had a good… Continue reading

S. Korea’s ‘Garlic Girls’ accuse coaches of derailing team

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The Garlic Girls, South Korea’s hugely popular… Continue reading

Trump administration defends its case against CNN’s Acosta

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to fend off a… Continue reading

Long hidden, Marie Antoinette’s jewels go up for auction

GENEVA — Diamond and pearl earrings, pearl necklaces, a giant pearl pendant… Continue reading

A No-Go: Athletes and officials weigh in after Calgary votes ‘no’ to 2026 bid

TORONTO — Rotating Olympic hosts? A single go-to destination every four years?… Continue reading

Predators may have NHL’s best goalie combo on, off ice

NASHVILLE — Pekka Rinne is off to an even better start than… Continue reading

Canadian Premier League buys Ontario’s League 1, looks to develop talent there

TORONTO — The Canadian Premier League has bought Ontario’s League 1 and… Continue reading

Most Read