Can I have a moment of your time?

Kimba District Council mayor Dean Johnson.

Kimba District Council mayor Dean Johnson.

There is no doubt time is a valuable commodity these days. It’s a busy life, in a busy world.

As an elected member and community leader I must try to balance this reality with our legislated requirement to consult and constantly seek opinion from you, our residents.

All councils must consult on Annual Business Plans that comprise details of our budgets including capital works, operational spending, forecast rate revenue and other forms of income and expenditure.

Although it is an extremely important document with loads of information, I confess that most people do not find it an exciting read. I’m sure many of these documents end up in recycling or landfill without being read.

Our consultation period is necessarily around April to June, a busy time for farmers which also compounds the difficulty in attracting input.

Numbers attending our efforts at consultation are consistently low. Should we assume we are doing a great job, because so few turn up or offer feedback?

So my question for you is how can we do it better? Do you have any suggestions on how you can provide comments and direction for council to consider? Our council has been actively investigating alternate means for consultation but need your input to find what works best for you.

Do you use social media and if so have you ‘liked’ council’s Facebook page? Are our Instagram posts worthwhile?  Is this an acceptable means of communicating or does it just clog up your feed? Would emerging technologies such as ‘our say’ or other forms of short surveys and online forums be more appropriate? And for those not so computer literate do you have suggestions on how to reach you? Is our information in the newsletter helpful and informative or do you not read it at all? Should we have more mail outs and if so what should we include?

Could we have regular community workshops or have elected members and senior staff available at set times for a drop in opportunity?

Time is valuable. So is your opinion. Find your voice and talk to your local elected members, we would love your ideas on how we can communicate better and in turn facilitate better returns and results for us all.

Speak up. We are waiting to hear from you.

Dean Johnson

Kimba District Council mayor