The District of Clearwater (DOC) is looking for public input regarding a four year strategic plan it’s putting together and is asking residents to take a survey to find out what priorities they’d like to see focused on.
“Because it’s a new council one of the purposes of this survey is just to touch base and make sure we’re not guessing and make sure we’re actually articulating some of the vision of the community,” said Shelley Sim, chair of the Economic Development Committee.
“We want to make sure we’re all moving in the same direction; the other purpose of this survey is we have a number of new people who’ve come to the community and we’re just checking in to see who’s living here. What are they doing (for work)? How can we serve them better? So it’s really a light overview of who we are.”
Sim, who also serves on municipal council, said she and her fellow councillors see this as a turning point for the DOC where the community is trying to grow and the local government wants to keep the opinions of residents in mind as the town moves forward.
She added council wants to make sure it’s listening to the community and hearing what citizens have to say, with hopes that surveys like this keep an open dialogue and get some reflection of the community as it grows.
“Sometimes we put a lot of emphasis on infrastructure, but is that where people want to see us go? Or do they say, ‘Hey, let’s maybe put the breaks on this for a little while; let’s expand into some other areas,” she said as an example of maintaining a cohesive vision with the community.
The DOC will be doing a preliminary budget session and will consider some of the survey results that have come in to date. Feb. 13 is the closing date for the survey, and council will then take the final results and discuss them at the following Economic Development Committee meeting, Sim said.
“Then we’re having a strategic planning session at the end of March, so there are lots of different stages and lots of different opportunities the public feedback; it’s important to stress council really wants to hear from the community—for a community to grow strong, we have to grow together and an element of that is listening,” Sim added.
“We have so many new people (in town), but have we reached them? Have we connected with them as a council? And the same thing goes for the residents we’ve had for a long time; we’re hoping this survey, which will likely be one of a few coming out, will be successful and if we see some good feedback from this one, we know we’re on a good plan.
“It’s seven minutes, quick and easy, and it will hopefully shape the way the community wants to grow.”
The online survey can be found at districtofclearwater.com/community-survey or physical copies can be picked up at the District of Clearwater office.