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Public Participation Working Group Engagement Framework Implementation

Summary 

In August 2017, Boulder City Council received a series of recommendations from the Public Participation Working Group (PPWG), which was appointed in 2016, to evaluate the city’s existing methods for engaging the community. The working group identified current challenges, outlined five principles of good engagement and made two recommendations: change the culture of engagement in the city and develop/follow clear processes. Read the entire report here.

In response to this and continuous improvement efforts already occurring within the organization, the City Manager’s Office created a new position, Engagement Manager, and included continuation of this position (along with a specialist position and related NPE dollars) as part of the City Manager’s 2018 Recommended Budget. Sarah Huntley, former deputy director of Communications, was appointed to this new role as Engagement Manager, on Oct. 16, 2017. Pending budget approval, it is anticipated the city will recruit for and hire an engagement specialist in first quarter 2018.

Sarah Huntley and Jean Gatza, who played an instrumental role in staff support for the PPWG process, are overseeing a team effort to create an implementation framework that incorporates the working group’s findings as well as other best practices related to high-quality community engagement. They are working closely with Deputy City Manager Tanya Ange on this effort.

The proposed framework is expected to include core strategic objectives, which council will be asked to consider and approve, as well as focused areas of work and short-term work plan items (remainder of 2017-2018) detailed under each one. Longer-term (2019-2020) areas of work and potential work plan items will also be outlined. The framework will also include proposed 2018 metrics to evaluate the city’s progress in improving its engagement efforts.

Next Steps

The Framework Implementation Team is working to develop this document in advance of the next council discussion.

Council Action

Council considered and provided feedback related to an implementation framework at the first meeting of the new council on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. Further opportunities for council feedback are expected in 2018 but have not yet been scheduled.

Contact

Sarah Huntley, Engagement Manager, [email protected], 303-441-2111

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