After attending the recent Official Community Plan open house we felt the event reflected poorly on the OCP process, diminishing its credibility.
While the event sought input, it should also have imparted information on the process. Surely there should have been posters on the contents of the existing OCP, or a flowchart on the OCP process, or invitations to future meetings, or sign up sheets for residents to contribute in specific sessions? There were none.
And what is the justification for using small sticky notes as a method of seeking serious input? Better to have questionnaires or comment sheets to allow residents to communicate more fully with, and provide reasoning for, more in-depth views to the consultant.
It is also unclear to us how the type of input solicited at the recent meeting would possibly assist the consultant in developing the level of detail contained in the current OCP. There seems to be a real disconnect.
Talking with those present, one sensed that resources or cost of the OCP review was an issue. Fair enough – $140,000 is no small change, but that amounts to about a dollar per year per household over the life of the OCP.
Our community is worth a greater investment to do the job properly. Could it be the OCP process is underfunded, not getting the effort and input opportunity residents need and deserve?
Given the importance to our community each and every household in Oak Bay that pays taxes needs to be included in any survey, as was done in the last OCP review.
We encourage council to revisit the OCP process, reallocate resources if needed or even have a specific one-time levy to cover the cost and enhance communications and ensure the OCP process is thoughtful, comprehensive and all-inclusive.