TAYLOR, B.C. – Though the District of Taylor has approved funds to purchase promotional materials for future pop-up town hall meetings, no dates have been set for the meetings this summer.
According to district staff during the council meeting on Monday, the pop-up town hall meetings are designed to be an “informal discussion with people in the community.” Residents and users of the district facilities can engage with council members and talk about what matters to them.
Several dates and locations were proposed. They included the Taylor Golf Course, the Visitor Centre, and Peace Island Park at times throughout the summer.
Location-specific meetings, according to staff, are meant to reach demographics not usually engaged, as well as users of specific facilities that the district looks after.
Community engagement processes already exist in the district: Coffee With Council meetings are open discussions with specific issues on the agenda that residents can attend to hear from and ask questions of councillors.
Though the council approved the funds to purchase supplies for the pop-ups, plans for future pop-up town halls ended there for the time being.
“I think the philosophy, the idea behind this is very good,” Taylor mayor Rob Fraser said in the meeting. “I like the idea of being prepared to have these on occasion.”
But a meeting with the public without specific topics on the agenda raised concerns over the efficiency and efficacy of the meetings.
It was also pointed out that councillors from the District tend to do this kind of informal engagement on their own. Several by turning up at the Taylor Visitors Centre to chat with residents and passers-by.
Though the district decided that the meetings were something to be prepared for should a specific issue or event arise, it did not set any dates for meetings in advance.