Ward 2 Councillors Rodrigo Goller and James Gordon held the first of at least three scheduled town halls they’re planning for 2019 on Saturday, and decided to take a new approach to community input.
After the two councillors introduced themselves to an audience of about 30 community members, Goller revealed the format for the town hall, and started by asking residents to stant at the front and talking about their ward. Goller then asked everyone to write down the important issues and tape them to the wall inside of the grid, and then had everyone split up into two groups to discuss their concerns.
Goller told Guelph Politico that this method of discussions is called “open space technology” by Harrison Owen- a strategy he learned during training while working for the City of Guelph.
The objective of the groups was to establish a direction for the Ward 2 councillors on policy, to turn issues into solutions, they explained.
During the live-tweeting of the town hall, one apparent millennial questioned if notice of the meeting was only given out via “social media or only in old-people formats.” Goller and Gordon posted on Facebook and Twitter about it, and Politico shared notice of the event on its own social media feeds too.
There were citizens of varying ages at the town hall, but there appeared to be no one under the age of 30 except for the Politico reporter on-scene. The average age was estimated to be around 50. Ethnicity-wise, there was solid variety, but the majority were Caucasian.
What was unquestionable though was the enthusiasm and passion of the residents who did attend. One individual walked 30 minutes in the freezing weather to make sure his voice was heard.
If you missed this meeting, there are two more already on the books, one on March 23 at the Evergreen Centre on Woolwich St., and another on May 25 at Waverley Public School. Both meetings will begin at 1:30 pm.
In the meantime, here’s a recap of Saturday’s town hall via Twitter: