Communication Improvements Underway at City of Winnipeg
You may recall that improving communication was a top priority of mine during the 2014 election. It’s been just over six months since I was elected, enabling me time to have a better understanding on the functional workings of City Hall, and specifically: how information is located, shared internally and externally, and how the lines of communication are connecting.
This may not come as a surprise to anyone, but the lines of communication are not connecting! From department to department, to residents, to 311, to Councillors – there are extensive communication challenges. The lines are simply not connecting, which in turn makes it extremely challenging to respond and make timely progress on initiatives. I strongly believe that effective communication can solve just about any problem – and ineffective communication just amplifies the problem. I have been a persistent advocate on this issue with Mayor Bowman and others.
The good news is significant changes are now underway to improve the lines of communication! In early May, 2015, the Corporate Communications division was transferred from Corporate Support Services to the office of Mr. Doug McNeil, the City’s new Chief Administrative Officer. We are moving forward on development of the Office of Public Engagement, an initiative pledged by Mayor Bowman as a central unit that will ensure there is consistency and transparency in the information shared with Winnipeggers about City projects.
A communications review is also underway which will provide concise recommendations on how to improve the lines of communication. A city the size of Winnipeg should have a website that residents can easily search and find information, and messaging from City departments on programs (ie: spring street cleaning, residential snow removals, etc) should be coordinated and communicated with accuracy. We should be able to relay clear messages to residents on the many service offerings which the City provides.
I understand that a great source of residents’ frustration is trying to communicate effectively with the City, and I share your frustration. Know that change is occurring, and it will improve the City’s ability to communicate effectively. Please be patient, it will be worth the wait. In the meantime, and to help convey information relevant to the South Winnipeg–St. Norbert ward, I‘ve built a very in-depth and informative website (www.JaniceLukes.ca) and encourage you to sign up for my monthly E-newsletter!
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