Centre for Negotiation and Dialogue

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What makes a better city?

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Grassroots group holds discussion forum at city hall

BY DAVE BARTLETT - THE TELEGRAM

A grassroots group, which wants to see more citizen participation in planning the future of the City of St. John's, hosted a forum at city hall Saturday.

About 30 people showed up to the Happy City forum to answer three questions in smaller groups.

Each group then presented their ideas to the participants at large.

Citizens Speak

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Your City, Your Ideas meeting successful; now for a plan

BY Alisha Morrissey - THE TELEGRAM

Residents of St. Johns had a chance to have their say Saturday and they took it.

Sitting in a large circle at city hall, people of all ages and from all over the city listened intently to the plan for the morning as moderator Bui Petersen walked around the centre, encouraging each of the 60 or so participants to come forward with a topic or issue they'd like to talk about.

Jessica, the first resident to walk to the middle of the circle, reached down to take a sheet of paper and marker before quietly declaring she would like to talk about transportation inside St. Johns and into the city from other areas.

What have you got to say?

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Community group looking for wide variety of opinions on future of St. John’s

BY ALISHA MORRISEY - THE TELEGRAM

It’s said that everyone in St. John's has got an opinion. But if you ever felt like no one was listening, one community group wants to offer you an ear.

"If you feel there is one group that domi­nates (the discussion) well this is your chance, says Dave Lane, one of the organiz­ers of happycity.ca, a community-driven group created in response to rapid growth and change in the City of St. John's.

The group is holding a "Your City, Your Ideas;' forum Saturday morning, in hopes of compiling the priorities of citizens to give to council when related issues arise.

"We're not holding this in response to any particular current issue. It's more about start­ing fresh and gauging the public point of view as to what we should be addressing as the city moves forward,” Lane says.

When issues have arisen recently — like the Fortis proposal on Water Street, a pro­posed subdivision on Signal Hill — tradition­al outlets like comments boards, letters to the editor or talk radio shows polarize issues, Lane says.