Public participation is very important to the decision makers at the City, but it is also a point of frustration. We go through various processes to notice people and offer a variety of opportunities for feed back but the return is limited. Our estimates show about a 1% participation rate for direct mailing, and about 10% participation rate with our Open City Hall forum, but this rate varies based upon the issues. Community Councils vary in response quality, procedures and attendance. The Planning Division holds monthly open houses and our attendance is poor. So what needs to change, in order for us to increase our rate of return?
The City’s zoning code and the State of Utah’s Municipal Land Use, Development, and Management Act each define specific requirements for notification on land use related items. The City’s notification service is primarily administrated through our Newsletter and Agenda Notifications services or by direct mail for property specific requests.
So what is it going to take to get people activated in the public processes of local government?
Current opportunities for notification and participation:
- Newsletter and Agenda Notifications
- News & feeds
- Open City Hall
- Open House
- Project specific web pages: Plan Salt Lake or East Bench Master Plan
- Public Hearings: http://www.slcclassic.com/BC/
Questions for you are:
- What information would you like to see included agenda notices? Sample
- Are you interested in all notices from a particular board or commission?
- Would issue or area specific notices better serve your needs?
- Does it make sense to continue recognizing two groups, or would subscription services open to all fulfill this need?
- How do you want to participate?
- online forums
- social media
- public open houses
- community council Meeting
- public hearings
The next step in this process will be to present a draft of the changes to Chapter 2.60 and Chapter 2.62.
Your feed back and participation is appreciated!