Teri Towner | Community Builder | Inspirational Speaker | Coquitlam City Councillor

Citizen Voice/Citizen Engagement

I want to hear from you!  I want citizens of Coquitlam to have a strong voice. I want people to feel they have more control over changes happening in their neighbourhoods. I want more citizens to have more engagement and participation when it comes to changes taking place and I want this participation to be PROACTIVE rather the REACTIVE.  I want us to have more conversations with residents regarding the future of their changing neighbourhoods.

Residents indicate they don’t receive or read the local paper so they miss important announcements about public hearings, public consultation opportunities.  I’d like to figure out a way to get more residents to subscribe to the city’s email alerts.  Most households have an email account – we just have to let them know of the various email subscriptions that are available.

The City mails out thousands of letters each year to residents advising them of various hearings etc.  I think that signage is a great way to complement this.  I keep hearing from residents that they weren’t aware of a pending change in their neighbourhood because they didn’t receive the notice in the mail. Signage assists for these instances where the letter gets lost in the mail, doesn’t get opened etc.  I’m optimistic we can figure out ways to bring awareness to citizens who want to have input. 

I value all input from residents and listen to every single piece of input I receive.  My favourite part of my role as a City Councillor – hearing from residents about issues that are important to them.  I believe better decisions are made when we hear from a high number of residents. 

I have been doing my own personal outreach campaign encouraging people to get out and vote in October!  Your vote is your voice and I want all citizens to have a strong voice.  Please, let your voice be heard and vote on October 20.

During the 2014 election campaign, I ran afoul of some members of Council for raising questions about the decision to establish a temporary trial Truck Route designation for Mariner and Como Lake without consulting residents.

I truly believe that we need to seek input from residents when decisions are made at the Council table and I have served the community that way over these 4 years as a City Councillor.  When there’s a change being proposed for a neighbourhood, because I am aware that not all people read the newspaper or subscribe to the city’s email lists, I knock on doors so I can hear from residents directly.  I read and respond to all correspondence I receive via my social media channels, via email and in person. And I visit residents at their homes when their concern or question involves their property, their neighbourhood. 

I will continue to serve the Coquitlam community this way.  I want to hear from as many residents as possible – on both sides of an issue.  That’s when the best decisions are made.