Thu, 18 Oct 2012
The Town of Oakville launched its crowdsourcing Idea Forum today, an innovative citizen engagement tool that encourages the community to submit ideas that will make Oakville more livable — and then rank them. The town will pilot the tool with a focus on the 2013 Budget by asking residents and stakeholders to share their ideas on programs and services that are most important to them.
“Engaging the public always makes sense. We want to focus on areas that residents tell us are important to them,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This new tool will allow us to gain insight and better understand public perceptions. Not only will the results tell us where there is common interest, but it can also be an excellent source of fresh ideas.”
Oakville Idea Forum users can vote on up to ten ideas posted by residents and stakeholders, or they can post their own. All ideas generated will be shared with the Budget Committee for consideration. According to Budget Committee Chair Councillor Tom Adams, Oakville is committed to long-term financial sustainability and is in a strong position to respond to external economic pressures. He reiterated that Council's objective is to keep the total property tax increases in line with inflation.
“Our citizen survey results tell us that 89 per cent of residents surveyed are satisfied with town services,” Councillor Adams said. “We're committed to protecting existing service levels, ensuring that our infrastructure is in a state of good repair, and maintaining Oakville’s low debt level. As part of the budget process, we’ll be working hard to find efficiencies and to enhance the programs and services that residents value most.”
In addition to Oakville’s Idea Forum, the town will seek public input on the 2013 Budget through social media, informal open houses, email feedback, comment cards, and Budget Committee meetings. Hosted by UserVoice, Oakville also plans to use its Idea Forum to engage residents and generate new ideas on a number of topics, projects and initiatives.