Volunteer Engagement and Evaluation
There has been quite a bit of community concern about a diminished role for volunteers with this new Local Community Commission (LCC). I share those concerns.
While all LCC meetings will be open, welcoming volunteer groups to present their opinions, this is simply not enough. Can you imagine every volunteer group and organization presenting their viewpoints on each of the 11 services (and three Contribution Agreements) at every LCC meeting? Unworkable!
So. . .what are the options?
How about. . . .
Mirroring most City Councils, each Local Commissioner would be assigned one or more service areas.
Each of these service areas would have a volunteer group - either formal or loosely-organized - open to all and willing to offer community input.
Each year, the effectiveness of this community outreach - as well as the performance of the LCC - would be evaluated.
1) While all Local Commissioners will be expected to understand all services, each Local Commissioner, much like City Councillors, would be responsible for specific services.
Their task would be to analyze information, meet with stakeholders, and develop recommendations to other Local Commissioners.
2) Commissioners assigned specific services would be expected to identify and meet with interested volunteer groups to get input. In some cases, existing societies, like Island Pathways and the Chamber, would be invaluable sources of input. In other cases, pathways for service-specific input will need to be created.
You may say. . . What - more committees when Commissions are being dissolved??? Yes. . . .My reasoning is that local interested groups need a way to offer input to Local Commissioners beyond speaking at every LCC meeting. They need a creative, flexible, non-bureaucratic, cost-free way to connect. . .something our current CRD-managed Commissions simply could not deliver.
3) During the LCC referendum, some asked how we will know if the LCC is successful. If elected, I will use the feedback of each of these community volunteers to annually evaluate the success of the Local Community Commission.
- Evaluation a new idea? Absolutely not!
- Regularly done in many communities? A resounding Yes!
- Something done routinely by CRD to assess its effectiveness?
Not in my 18 years here.
Is it time?
I say YES!
Giving our amazing volunteers an even stronger voice - and regularly evaluating successes and challenges - are high priorities for me.
I hope you agree. . .