City of Coronado

Public Engagement. It is a popular term lately as citizens becomes more and more interested in engaging in public conversations on topics that matter to them. It means “the involvement of specialists listening to, developing their understanding of, and interacting with, non-specialists.” The phrase “all politics is local” is commonly used in American politics and when it comes to local issues Coronado has a history of strong public engagement. The City of Coronado seeks to engage local citizens in participating.

All City Council meetings are available to watch live on Coronado TV (Spectrum Channel 19/AT&T U-verse Channel 99) or streamed at the viewers convenience on a computer or phone from a link on the City’s website. In addition, full agendas for all City Council and all Commission meetings are posted online and hard copies are available to view at the Coronado Public Library. Citizens may engage in local government during actual meetings by attending in person, submitting comments prior to the meeting or since the pandemic via a Zoom link provided to anyone who would like to speak on a topic to their elected or appointed officials.

Recently the City of Coronado launched “Comment Coronado” Community engagement is an important value to the City. Prior to the public health orders prohibiting gatherings, the City was planning various public meetings to seek input on a variety of projects. COVID-19 caused the City to have to regather, pivot and offer a new approach to pursue public engagement. Via a new platform attached to the City’s homepage, Coronado launched “Comment Coronado,” a community engagement space that allows residents to obtain information on current projects and share their ideas with surveys, interactive maps, discussion forums and spaces to post ideas. It also lists the staff member who is responsible for the project with contact information. Citizens can hear about and engage on topics that matter to them and receive updates on new projects at their convenience. The site was launched in October 2020 with three featured projects – Climate Action Plan, Housing Element Update and Cays Park Rehabilitation Master Plan -- and now has many more— Ocean Boulevard Improvements Project, The Winn Room Renovation, The Hometown Banner Program, Citywide Historic Resource Survey, New City Website, 2021 Summer Shuttle, Sea Level Rise Plan, Edco Organic Recycling Program, Lawn Bowling Green Replacement and Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban.

The City contracted with Bang the Table to provide the online platform to facilitate discussion in public decision making. Bang the Table provides software for online community and stakeholder engagement. You can find Comment Coronado at commentcoronado.org or via the City’s website: www.coronado.ca.us. The City hopes to reach residents and all project stakeholders to build relationships for future engagement and to gauge outreach efforts.

In addition to Comment Coronado the City has proactively sought community feedback through a community satisfaction survey intended to provide local government officials with an understanding of the public’s sense of satisfaction and expectations. The first survey was conducted in 2003, with subsequent surveys in 2011, 2014 and 2018.

In February of this year, the Council approved conducting an updated survey by the National Research Center including the addition of nine special topic questions and one open-ended question. The results will be summarized in a presentation by the CEO of the company conducting the survey at the September 7 City Council meeting. Copies of the last three surveys are available to review on the City website at Coronado.ca.us. The 2021 survey results will be posted when the City Council agenda is released to the public this Thursday.

The City issues several publications to engage the public. This includes the City Manager’s Weekly Newsletter and City Manager Weekly Video that is issued every Friday and sent to a mailing list of over 5000+ subscribers. The Coronado Public Library, the John D. Spreckels Center, CoronadoArts and Coronado Aquatics departments also issue newsletters on a regular schedule highlighting various events and programs. You can also sign up to receive notifications of City meetings and agendas as they become available to the public. The City also operates a Coronado Facebook Page, Twitter account and YouTube Channel to engage the community.

Public engagement is important to both the citizens of this community and the City of Coronado. Public engagement allows the City to better identify the community’s values, ideas, and recommendations. It informs residents about important issues that local government is dealing with and informed and engaged resident produces buy-in and support with less conflict. Civil discussion in decision making often produces better outcomes and builds trust between local citizens and local government. Whatever the differences between people and possible solutions, those who work together on common issues develop better understanding and appreciation of the impacts of actions by the government.

So sign up, show up and engage in local government because remember … all politics are local and your local government welcomes engagement.

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