EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- If you had $500, how would you spend it next year to provide services in the City of Eau Claire? That's what the city is asking you in a new online forum.
The city has named the project the "Electronic Eau Claire Conversation." It asks you where you would spend a budget across 15 categories, and allows you to make comments about the budget process.
City leaders say it's going to be more convenient for everyone. City Manager Russ Van Gompel said "the advantage is you can do this at any time, day or night. You don’t have to come out to a public meeting. There is a segment of our population that likes coming out to public hearings and meetings but there is also a segment that’s really busy, and this allows them the opportunity to provide input at the convenience."
It closes on November 4th.
You can find a link to the forum below.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE FROM CITY OF EAU CLAIRE)--
If you had $500, how would you spend it next year to provide services in the City of Eau Claire? That’s the first question in the City’s new online forum, “Electronic Eau Claire Conversation (E2C2)”, created through a partnership between the City of Eau Claire and Peak Democracy. This online platform is designed to increase resident engagement by giving citizens the opportunity to participate and express opinions on important City issues.
This pilot program is available (at the link below) and will be active until November 4. Once subscribed, residents can participate in two budgeting exercises centered on the question, “How would you spend $500 to fund what is most important to you in Eau Claire?” The first exercise involves spending $500 across 15 categories.
Residents will also have the opportunity to make general comments about the budget process, upload photos or videos to illustrate their concerns or suggestions and put a value on the priorities they think are most important. They can read what others are saying about an issue and share their own opinion. City officials will read the statements and incorporate them into the decision-making process.
The City aims to empower citizens by providing them information on each issue to enrich online comment and to provide more opportunities for citizen interaction and engagement.
“I am excited to offer this new tool for citizen engagement and that the first topic will be related to our 2014 budget process”, stated Russell Van Gompel, City Manager. “For the first time citizens will be able to provide feedback on which programs and services are important for them outside of a formal public hearing.”
If E2C2 is well received during the pilot phase, it will be used again in the spring to solicit residents’ input on other budgetary concerns.
Peak Democracy, a non-partisan company based in California, developed the online platform. Their mission is to broaden civic engagement and build public trust in government. About 50 other cities and counties across the country are using Open City Hall, including Arlington County, VA, St. Paul, MN, Ann Arbor, MI, and Salt Lake City, UT.
For more information about E2C2, contact Russell Van Gompel, City Manager, at 715-839-4902.