Lantzville council develops communications policy

NANAIMO – Policy will not require the hiring of new staff for the framework.

The District of Lantzville is one step closer to having a public participation policy and now it wants the public’s input.

On Monday, Lantzville councillors voted to allow public input into the formulation of their public participation policy during a committee of the whole meeting.

The proposed public participation policy framework is anchored by six principals, including access, transparency, engagement, communications and respect.

Councillors were also provided with a number of examples of communication policies from other municipalities such as Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and Saanich.

Coun. Dot Neary, who supported the motion, said she is pleased with the policy put forth by staff.

“It is fairly simple and easy to understand,” she said. “It’s not too complicated by lots of and lots of narrative. I think if we need to review it and adjust it as we go along then that is open to us,” Neary said. “This is the kind of policy that once in operation we will kind of feel our way with it.”

Currently the District of Lantzville does not have a public participation policy or any solid framework surrounding a communication strategy.

The goal to gather public input is to best determine just how much engagement the community feels it needs and wants from the district. Once the policy is complete, it will provide the public with a better idea of what the district is doing.

Coun. Denise Haime, who supported the policy, said it’s about time that Lantzville had a policy of its own.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to get a policy, so it is nice that we have one before us,” Haime said. “A lot of communities already have this and it is nice that we are catching up and putting this in place.”

The adoption of a public participation policy will not result in Lantzville hiring any additional staff for a communications department, according to Brad McCrae, the district’s chief administration officer.

There is no time frame as to when the public will be able to provide input into Lantzville’s proposed policy.

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