Breaking down Silos
Many of the decisions made in City Hall come down to Yes/No votes. This fosters opposition and suspicion of people with different perspectives or interests. It’s easy to fall into generalizations or stereotypes when facing a high conflict, high stakes, decision, but it’s rare that this approach gets the best results, especially if details are being negotiated on the fly in a public hearing.
My goal is to engage and hear out all parties as early as possible in the process, acknowledge and give space for the intense feelings that arise in these situations, facilitate understanding and dialogue, provide some guideposts for possible solutions and reduce barriers to communication. Over time it is often possible to surface practical options that make the final decision more acceptable to everyone. These processes aren’t comfortable, and it’s rare that everyone comes out totally satisfied, but over time everyone’s ability to navigate these situations improve and subsequent processes are often smoother, get better results and are less stressful for everyone.
In order to navigate COVID-19 recovery, climate change and energy transition, City Plan implementation and zoning bylaw renewal supporting and developing the capacity of community leaders to navigate these situations will strengthen our communities and support our success.