Sunday, 13 February 2011

Brandon City Council's first 'Community QP'

Brandon 125
If you're in Brandon Monday night you might want to check out Brandon City Council's first 'community question period'. It's on a three month trial.

It's a 15 minute slot on the
city council meeting agenda after the delegations and before regular business where:

"The public is invited to come forward to the podium to ask questions on any item appearing on the agenda for this evening's meeting. A total of 15 minutes will be allowed for this question period."

The QP motion was that of
Richmond Ward Councillor Stephen Montague.

Shari Decter Hirst's campaign included a platform of more openness and public participation at city hall. She promised things like more community town halls, a monthly "Coffee with the Mayor" event (next one is Feb 28th) and using new media to get information out. She did something almost unheard of by handily knocking off the incumbent mayor Dave Burgess so something in her platform resonated with the public.

She is, of course, on Facebook and in the
blogosphere and though the latter is a bit sparse, her campaign blog was well done, regularly updated and substantive. She's also a blogger and contributor at eBrandon, a popular discussion forum in town.

Time will tell whether this is a 'first 100 days' thing but the addition of a question period to council agenda and a monthly coffee with they mayor sessions are things that would be fairly noticeable if they fall off the radar.

Question Period Coming
CKLQ, Feb 2011 (Honestly, this article was on their website just yesterday !)
Brandon Council Ponders Question Period
CBC, Dec 2010
Then there were two
MB Municipal Elections, Oct 2010

P.S. - Of course it will be hard to hear whether QP is a success or not. With no more CKX, A Brandon Sun locked down behind a subscription wall tighter than most medical journals, a sister paper in Winnipeg that doesn't cover Brandon and CKLQ's hit and miss news coverage we're more likely to get civic news from Bali than Brandon !

...and THAT's a media issue that should be a concern to city hall. That people interested in following, moving to or investing in their city has no access to news or current event information in this on-line world

Brandon !P off to a good start CKLQ

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