OUR VIEW: Town getting ready to talk

Is the Town of Sidney communicating well with its residents, businesses and others?

Is the Town of Sidney communicating well with its residents, businesses and others?

That’s the question being asked in a recently-announced town communications strategy survey. People are being asked to complete the survey, which is available at town hall and online at www.sidney.ca until Nov. 9.

This is part of the town’s strategic plan and it’s a process that is ongoing. This plan outlines the town’s priorities between 2012 and 2014. Some parts have already been started and the communications strategy, once it’s complete, will help the municipality share what it’s doing with its residents and taxpayers.

A plan to communicate projects and policies is a good thing. As long as staff and council are on the same page, such a strategy can help ensure people are given accurate information on the town’s priorities and regulations to better help them meet local goalposts. If the town doesn’t communicate well, or delivers mixed messages, people are left wondering and may approach town council with plans or proposals that miss the mark.

Such a strategy should offer the community a united front from its municipal leaders. The councillors around the table might not agree on all things, all of the time, but a communications strategy will let residents know what will be happening on any given issue. There shouldn’t be any decrease in debate on those issues, but once that’s done and the votes are tallied, we will know what to expect from the municipal leaders.

The town will have its first communications challenge soon.

They are developing an outreach program to talk to citizens about the documents that guide them. Called Vision Sidney, staff have a plan set out to explain to the public the content of the Official Community Plan, strategic plan and waterfront local area plan and how they guide future development of the community.

There are plenty of contentious issues in there — from business development to tourist attraction and much more. It will be interesting to see how the town communicates its position on all of them.