City holds symposium to launch municipal plan review

Dave Bartlett
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St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe addresses participants at the mayor's symposium Saturday, which launched the review of the city's municipal plan. — Photo by Dave Bartlett, The Telegram.

The city of St. Johns has started the process to review its municipal plan.

More than 100 people preregistered to take part in a mayors symposium Saturday at city hall, which will help guide the direction St. Johns takes over the next decade or so.

Over the four-hour session, people discussed a variety of issues in small groups and then voted on the ideas in real time using keypad technology. The technology then allowed the facilitators to post the result of each poll moments later on large screens in the room.

Topics included the quality of life, general land use, housing, recreation, heritage and economic growth.

There will be many other opportunities for the public to have their say as the review goes on over the next year-and -a-half or so.

While this meeting was fairly broad in scope, other public events will focus on neighbourhood and ward specific issues, as well as discuss in detail the broader topics at the symposium.

Over the morning a number of key issues were raised including the preservation of green space, a safer city to walk in, better public transit, more affordable and seniors housing and the challenge of balancing development with heritage and environment.

Full story in Mondays print edition.

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Recent comments

  • nobody
    February 27, 2012 - 10:48

    Well Sean James, I enjoy your enthusiasm but I'm afraid a majority of the citizens don't agree or share your gratitude to the current council. Do you not remember when O'Keefe wanted to cut funding for crossing guards to keep his personal mile one box? Haven't you noticed since Andy Wells stepped down, snow clearing has gotten much worse to almost non-existence yet the area designated for the "DOWNTOWN on-street parking ban" has expanded to include almost the ENTIRE CITY. St.John's is full of students and low income families who can't afford homes with drive ways. The city wide on street parking ban is an attack at poor people. I'm safe from it but personally find it disgusting. Wouldn't you like to know why he's getting paid vacations to go down south all the time for "cruise conferences", like EDMUND mentioned? I don't think he's as crooked as some politicians but he is greedy and definitely not mayor material.

    • Sean
      February 27, 2012 - 12:21

      This has got nothing to do with whether or not anyone likes Mayor O'Keefe. I'm calling a spade a spade. I don't always agree with him, in fact I quite often disagree, but that's beside the point. This was a good event. If you weren't there, too bad. The Municipal Plan is mostly about land use planning, not parking bans or cruise ships. You're on the wrong topic. Wait for a news story that's got something to do with these things.

  • Christopher Chafe
    February 27, 2012 - 07:54

    As one of the attendee's there Saturday morning, I have to say it was beating a dead horse, not once was Urban Sprawl mentioned.........for the 70% of the attendees all they were concerned about was keeping the pretty color houses and demanding all drive-thru's and box stores be banned.

  • Sean
    February 27, 2012 - 07:47

    I attended. It was a very good event - in fact, it was the best first step in true public consultation and citizen engagement ever taken by the City. Kudos to City Council and staff for being brave enough to take this big first step by letting the people set the agenda for once. The proof will now be in the pudding. Citizens who were at that meeting will be looking to see the strong themes and consensus items which emerged carried forward and further explored and addressed in the planning process.

  • Danny Pulls The Strings
    February 27, 2012 - 07:05

    O'Keefe is just a sock puppet of Danny Williams. The municipal review is just public relations, nothing more. The decisions have already been made for you.

  • sean Janes
    February 26, 2012 - 16:36

    The city is growing very fast and its important to keep the citizens involded. I believe the major is doing a great job and I am proud to say I am from St Johns, seeing all of this postive activity!!

  • Edmund
    February 26, 2012 - 13:24

    I agree with the comments that Dickie and Nobody have expressed, especially concerning the disgusting Hoboville that has been created at Harbourside Park. O'Keefe is a joke as a mayor and not capable of making tough decisions. Why are they spending thousands of dollars asking the residents about such issues when city hall has many so called expert employees that are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide this advice so it can be then brought to the public to approve or disprove accordingly. Are they not capable of doing their jobs too!!! or does O'Keefe not let them. It's time for O'Keefe and a few more at city hall to start putting tax dollars where it belongs, in safe sidewalks, crosswalks, streets etc. instead of cocktail parties, cruise line conferences and hockey team subsidies. How come we have never seen a real profit and loss statement about the cruise line business? He always talks in assumptions and estimates about this matter. Let us see the real numbers O'Keefe including the money the tax payers are spending to finance your conference holidays and let us know what you intend to do with Hoboville at Harbourside Park once the ship season starts? Your reply, if you have the backbone to reply, will cost nothing and that is a good deal.

  • dickie
    February 26, 2012 - 11:27

    what a crock. Grandstanding for next Election. Did he also have the table set with his wine glasses to entertain everyone on our tax dollar. The quicker this guy and a few of his cronies go the better off the city will be. Want to do something constructive O'Keefe get the OCCUPY people out of Harbourside park and put aTOLL BOOTH up for Mt Pearl residents. They are a bunch of townies and bayman who don't want to pay taxes in St. John's but wants our services. Well I say pay up

  • nobody
    February 26, 2012 - 09:25

    Anyone who attended was only beating a dead horse. Cool guy with the leather jacket has all his plans made and only arranged the meet and greet for PR. He's probably just looking for more ways to cut spending to fund his "perks". Remember when the "city" decided it no longer wanted to pay for school crossing guards yet the city council box at Mile One held priority of child safety? There's your red flag for O'Keefe right there, the excuse of a man cares for no one but himself. I hope St.John's doesn't turn it's brain off in the next municipal election.