In recent years, City Council members chose to modify the “rules” around public input. It sends an overwhelming message that public input is not valued and is only tolerated.
By AMANDA NICHOL
The landscape in North Vancouver is changing quickly. Some people like it and want more of it; others want to slow it down; and still others want to reverse it.
Whatever the stance, people are passionate about where they live and often feel they need to speak up because nobody else will. They want to be heard and want to live in a place where ideas can be heard, valued and utilized to help make things better.
My vision for the future of CNV is that our elected representatives advocate for everyone’s point of view to be heard. Respectful dialogue can provide an opportunity for compromise and collaboration. The ability to take another’s input to help make things better is a unique skill and shows a willingness to compromise, accommodate and reflect on what has been heard.
For respectful dialogue to happen, it’s important that people are acknowledged for their contribution to the discussion. Dissenting options can result in strengthening an idea or coming up with an entirely new, better idea.
Even if people are not in favour of the final decision, it is important that they feel they have been heard. I would like to see everyone who lives and shares in our community to be able to debate and have a dialogue, even if they disagree. This is what we try to teach our children.
It helps instill a sense of belonging to the community. Listening to people does not have to mean giving them what they have asked for
but even if people do not like the final decisions, as long as they feel they have been heard, they feel they matter, that they are valued and
that the outcome is not predetermined.
In recent years City Council members chose to modify the “rules” around public input. It sends an overwhelming
message that public input is not valued and is only tolerated. It is a significant barrier to fostering a sense of belonging to the community.
I would like to see public input not only encouraged but sought out, bringing together, building and strengthening our community.