EMBRUN – Whether it’s ensuring they have access to information or opportunities to provide feedback, the township of Russell is making communicating with residents a priority.
Currently, there are several ways Russell strives to stay connected to residents, including question-and-answer sessions at council meetings, annual surveys, theme-specific surveys, public meetings, up-to-date website and social media content, newsletters, and open communication channels between residents and municipal staff and politicians. Recently, the township has extended the deadline on one survey, introduced another theme-specific survey, and offered residents an opportunity to win $50 simply by registering for email news updates.
Russell’s 2021 Citizen Satisfaction Survey has extended its deadline to Aug. 29, giving those residents who have not yet participated an opportunity to share their views and concerns and to rate the level of services provided by the municipality. The survey was skipped in 2020 due to the pandemic but is now back and available online via a link through Russell’s website, social media, or by contacting the municipality for a paper copy. Residents needing the latter, or accessibility support, have been asked to contact the township via email (email@example.com) or phone (613-443-3066).
In addition to the Citizen Satisfaction Survey, Russell has issued another questionnaire for residents through its Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). This theme-specific survey can be accessed in the same way as the annual survey but closes on Sept. 6. According to the survey introduction, “the goal of this survey is to help the AAC better understand the barriers to accessibility in the township of Russell so that there is equal opportunity and access for all persons.”
With the launch of its updated website in the spring, the township announced an incentive to encourage residents to subscribe to email updates. Residents who subscribe for email updates between April 16 and Aug. 31 will be entered to win a $50 gift card for the local business of their choice. The winner must be a Russell resident. Residents can sign up via the township’s website (Russell.ca). The email subscription process allows residents to choose the topics they want updates for, and they can unsubscribe from the email list at any time.
For those taxpayers who are interested in taking a more active role, the municipality’s committees are comprised of residents, as well as a representative from council. While these groups are generally populated along the same timeline as the local municipal council, there are times throughout the four-year term when new or replacement members are needed. Schedules, agendas, and minutes for all township committees can be found on Russell’s website.
Unlike many of its neighbouring municipalities, Russell has altered its usual council agenda to include a question-and-answer session for residents. While this wasn’t the practice pre-COVID-19, the pandemic has made it necessary for council to meet virtually, which led to the change in the routine. It is unknown whether this will continue post-pandemic.
Russell residents have three imminent deadlines to remember. The Citizen Satisfaction Survey deadline has been extended to Aug. 29. The chance to win a $50 gift card to a Russell business by subscribing for email updates from the township will end on Aug. 31. The Accessibility Advisory Committee’s Survey is open until Sept. 6.