North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. (File photo)

Editorial: North Cowichan offering communication where it counts

You’ve got the chance; make your way to the big session and speak up

You’d almost think that in this era of pervasive, persuasive and invasive communication the task of public engagement would be painless.

Hasn’t social media fed news junkies and community activists with all the information they crave at the touch of a keystroke? Who needs phone calls, letters and memos when you’ve got Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?

Alas, the communications professionals and their taskmasters at municipal government offices know their jobs are still challenging. And they’ll never be able to satisfy all the grumpy taxpayers, all the time.

But they’re trying, even if they don’t always get it right.

To that end, the Municipality of North Cowichan is bending over backwards next week in an effort to keep folks in the loop when it comes to two critical issues: licensing cannabis shops and managing the municipal forest.

Acknowledging that community engagement is vital, North Cowichan has booked the ballroom of the Ramada Hotel on Aug. 21 for its regular council meeting and a public hearing later that day. The six o’clock public hearing will deal with three bylaws, two of which involve proposed cannabis outlets.

The ongoing discussion of forest management will be on the agenda for the council meeting and that discussion as well as the public hearing in the ballroom later is expected to draw a large crowd in the ballroom. (Dancing will only be of the verbal variety)

Mayor Al Siebring has made a commitment to improve the communication strategy within the Municipality and as a media veteran – as well as a Facebook junkie – he knows the challenges and how important it is to get the right message into the public realm.

As recently as last Tuesday night, the rookie mayor was called upon to explain why North Cowichan’s plans for improvements to Chemainus Road were just then being unveiled, a mere month before the equipment is due to hit the street.

This project has been on the drawing board for a decade and there have been stops and starts along the way, Siebring pointed out at a public meeting in Chemainus.

The Muni fumbled the ball somewhat, Siebring conceded, but in an effective defence, he explained the project has a lot of moving parts, including a vital land acquisition and that matter was only very recently put to rest.

The audience appreciated the explanation. Communication counts.

Just Posted

Caps improve to 3-0

Lynn and Arquiett score two each as Caps double up Chiefs

Carving in Cowichan provided road to recovery for stroke victim

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to get out of bed or walk, let alone carve”

Sarah Simpson Column: Use your smarts to slow down early holidays

It’s Friday the 13th. There’s a full moon. A rabid bat is… Continue reading

Island pair helps BC to baseball title

Cowichan’s Ella Duncan-Reda and Oak Bay’s Tess Sawkins integral to provincial success

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

VIDEO: Seniors at B.C. assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Building owners terminate lease for McGuire Lake Congregate Living in Salmon Arm

Most Read