TalkTober Starts Tonight
Prince George, B.C. – The first in a series of community consultations will get underway this evening in Prince George, as City Hall launches TalkTober.
The first session will take place the Columbus Community Centre in College Heights from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
The sessions provide an opportunity for area residents to express their concerns to City staff and those members of Council who plan to attend. The sessions also provide an opportunity for staff to gather input on where tax dollars should be allocated when budget time rolls around.
Also available at the 2016 TalkTober sessions is the draft Park Strategy (see previous story). Residents will have an opportunity to make their thoughts known on the future of parks in their neighbourhood.
There are a couple of new aspects to TalkTober this year as BC Transit will be on hand to collect residents thoughts on transit service “Transit is a huge topic in this City” says Mayor Lyn Hall “We’ve heard a lot from students who say you’ve got to give us different, more accessible transit to the downtown, expand the transit off the main routes to the University and the College, so this is a good opportunity for people to get an idea of the transit operations in the City and see the changes that are coming.”
Mayor Hall says City Hall Service Centre reps will be also be on hand “People phone in to report potholes, they’ll phone in for different information like their street hasn’t been plowed for a long time, when’s that going to happen? Questions around garbage pick up, any concerns that they have go through our service centre, they are logged then they are pushed out to the various departments so you’re going to be able to come to a TalkTober event and you’re going to be able to register those comments or concerns right there, right then with the Service Centre folks.” Although the Mayor admits if people are reluctant to phone in, they are not likely to show up at a TalkTober event to report something in person “What it does, is it just rounds off we’re trying to do when it comes to TalkTober , which is to provide a service, you have all of the other departments there, so to have the Service Centre there makes sense.” He says it won’t be just about lodging complaints, as folks can ask Service Centre reps for details on things like paying utility bills or taxes.
This round of TalkTober sessions is packed with information from Transit to Service Centre , the Park Strategy to budget ideas, but Mayor Hall says he doesn’t think residents will be overloaded “I think, what we found last year was that residents came with a specific purpose, they were looking for information from a particular department. I’m the first one to say that we want to make sure we don’t overload people and if it looks like the TalkTober event has too much, then we’ll have to look at it again next year that we don’t overload people, but it has been our experience that it has been one or two issues that people come to talk about.”
The evenings are set up in a casual format, and will include a question and answer session led by Mayor Lyn Hall. “What I want to do is talk about the things that are happening from the development perspective and I want to ttalk about things we’ve done in the various neighbourhoods, some of things you won’t necessarily see because it was underground infrastructure work, but more than anything I ‘m interested in people and the questions they have and the things that we are doing well, we absolutely need that feedback.”