Comment 91883

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2013 at 10:29:35

I'm a Ward 2 resident. And a member of the Durand Neighbourhood Association. And a proud voter in the PBW2 process. I loved the opportunity to vote on items that actually had dollar numbers beside them and for which there was actual funding. Not pie-in-the-sky planning, but implementable, citizen-selected, publicly funded ideas. Loved it.

Let me add, that having done a ton of process improvement work over the years in many countries, my belief is that the PWB2 process, like any new process, can benefit from review and enhancement. As much as I support it fully, it's overly and needlessly complex and bureaucratic in my opinion. I'm not suggesting an unfocused free-for-all next time, but there are some improvements that need to be considered, not just for next time in Ward 2, but improvements that make the process transferrable to and sustainable in all other Wards, no matter whether there is area rating money or not. Simply put, it doesn't need to (and I would add mustn't) be so complicated in the future, including building and managing and resourcing parallel structures to already existing neighbourhood-based citizen structures. I agree with fmurray that it must be genuinely democratic and not based on actual or perceived manipulation by sitting Councillors. In fact, I would go so far as to say that 5 years from now, PB should be running independently of Councillor control or influence, but benefiting from Councillor support and leadership. There's a big difference between the two, of course. Let me be quick to add that I think Jason Farr and Brian McHattie really did focus on support and leadership. I think PB was a huge example of positive, citizen-based changes that are happening in Hamilton.

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