These ideas from Barbara Crljen
FIRST YEAR OF THIS CYCLE: Citizens jury to review budgetary reporting to community and to select / design a model that is fully accountable and transparent.
SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT YEARS – a citizens jury to decide on how the discretionary portion of the budget is spent from a range of proposals put forward by council officers or direct from community if properly supported by feasibility and needs assessment studies.
Benefits: Over this period every resident will at least know of someone who has participated in the process, the community will know how the budget is allocated rebuilding trust in the process and the council.
This in turn will strengthen and deepen community engagement and capacity through agency. An empowered community will naturally exercise that capacity in everything they are involved and interested in and in this way capacity will be built in all community processes strengthening participation and dialogue across all sectors and maximising volunteering.
Community Reporting Network:- (develop a charter to ensure respectful and balanced reporting – reporting facts and evets rather than opinion pieces)
Attend council meetings (by roster) and report on proceedings by article to local papers, community publication and newsletters
Read local papers and write letters to editor.
Locate expert opinion and evidence in relation to issues to ensure community is given good basic evidence and information on issues, searching for differing views to ensure a rounded presentation of issues and options.
Benefits: community self education – promote open and informed respectful discussion and debate on all concerns running through the community and minimize polarisation.
3: Series of Debates
Facilitated and Moderated Panel Workshops/Debates exploring the many faces of our community – exploring rights, obligations, needs and participation, with a view to hearing alternate views and finding common ground
Topic Ideas: Farmer and Environmentalist
Resident, Ratepayer, Absentee Ratepayer, Visitor
Land Use – farming, development, nature reserves
Residential development – Character, property values, socially accessible housing
Aims and Benefits: Take polarising positions and issues, provide a forum for respectful debate and transparent fielding of all issue to dispel heat, minimize polarization and find commonality.
Our Narrative : write the story of the process so far.
Benefit: Provide a community narrative with the intention that the bulk of the community will see themselves in this narrative .Most people have seen the traffic light flyer; now they get the back story.
The identification with a ‘common’ story facilitates the commitment to a common cause The building of ‘our community’ where people see their contribution in whichever they make it as a contribution to the greater whole.
5: The Million Dollar Roof Top Solar Campaign
In case it hasn’t been put back on the agenda already.
This campaign is still relevant and very timely the work is done, may only need a review to update and it’s ready to put forward and test this council on it.
In my opinion, if this is a goer, the sooner the better, this way should it be rejected there is four years to campaign on it, or a feasibility study is proposed, plenty of time to make sure it is not handballed to the next election.
Lots of ideas, where do we put the energy; ah that is the question.