Letter: Take advantage of opportunities for public engagement

Editor: Re: The Mayor’s Committee on Public Engagement open house. It is interesting to note that approximately 300 people attended the three open houses that were designed to engage the community regarding their opinions on communication related to development processes in the Township of Langley.

The events were well publicized and yet less than one per cent of residents attended.

I realize this committee was set up to try and avoid the challenges and difficulties that arose from the Brookswood development proposal and the development in Fort Langley.

I think the TOL has covered its behind quite well by setting up a committee and providing people ample opportunity to express their opinions about communication in the development process.

It would seem, by the turnout, that most people are satisfied by the public process regarding development that the TOL utilizes.

There is always room for improvement, however the cost of sponsoring the open houses and hiring the firm “Modus” which specialize in engagement and facilitation to run the interactive program must have been huge to the taxpayer.

I would appreciate knowing the cost of this effort and note again that less than one per cent of residents engaged.

It should show that people must partake in the process of involvement in public engagement — especially regarding development policy — while there are clear opportunities, rather than after the fact when they aren’t happy with how the development process has unfolded.

Holly Stermshnig,

Township of Langley

Thanks for acknowledging feedback

Editor: The following is an open letter to the mayor and council of the Township of Langley: I was very impressed, in a good way, with the feedback from the Mayor’s Committee on Public Engagement.

When I attended the open house I was truly pessimistic, due to past experience, on whether any of my comments or those of others would be listened to and acknowledged.  I just read the draft feedback and felt that everyone’s comments were acknowledged.

I would like to say a big thank you for allowing all who participated to be heard.

Of course, I will be watching to see if these acknowledgments will be acted upon in the future.

I do have some hope, though.

The new cabinet in Ottawa is half women, is representative of all provinces and contains people from all walks of life. The environment is set for a new Canada where the “old cliques” are gone.

Dianne Kask,