The City of Saint John is in the process of developing a Growth Management Strategy and Municipal Plan to provide a policy framework to guide the physical development of Saint John over the next 25 years. The Strategy and Plan will be based on the collective aspirations of citizens on how best to preserve and enhance the City’s quality of life. To this end, the Strategy and Plan will take into consideration important social, economic and environmental issues and objectives. It will link transportation needs and land use planning, and will provide guidance on matters such as environmental protection, open space and community facilities, housing, urban design, heritage protection, Uptown development and future economic growth.
2. Purpose of the Citizens Advisory Committee
The Municipal Plan Citizens Advisory Committee is established to advise Common Council on the development of City’s 25-year comprehensive municipal plan. The Committee will act as a community sounding board, advising the protect team (municipal staff & consultants) and the City of Saint John Common Council on community-based issues during the plan’s development. The Committee will also serve as ambassadors within the community to actively promote public involvement in the planning process.
3. Role of the Citizens Advisory Committee
The Citizens Advisory Committee’s primary role is to formulate recommendations to Council during each phase of the development of the City’s Growth Management Strategy and Municipal Plan. More specifically, the Committee will:
- Advise the project team on the delivery of the public engagement program;
- Ensure transparency to the public throughout the development of the Strategy and Plan;
- Actively engage in the Strategy and Plan development process by attending public engagement events;
- Discuss the variety of themes to be addressed in the Strategy and Plan;
- Advise on the need for and priorities to be addressed in background reports and technical studies;
- Help define the principles that will guide the development of the Strategy and Plan;
- Explore and refine the issues and opportunities identified by the public during engagement sessions and through background studies;
- Assist in establishing and evaluating potential alternative scenarios for growth and change;
- Function as Ambassadors for the Growth Management Strategy and Municipal Plan and actively promote public involvement in the planning process throughout all sectors of the community;
- Advise and provide recommendations to Common Council on the Growth Strategy and Municipal Plan.
4. Committee Composition
The Citizens Advisory Committee will consist of 13 persons including two (2) members of Common Council, one (1) member of the Planning Advisory Committee and ten (10) citizens of Saint John representing a wide cross-section of the community. To ensure that the Committee is truly representative of the population of Saint John, representatives with varied perspectives and from different sectors of the community will be targeted, especially those from typically under-represented groups from a variety of social, cultural and economic backgrounds. Individuals applying for Committee membership based on their representation of a specific community sector or group should identify this in their application.
The Citizens Advisory Committee will be appointed by Common Council on recommendation from Council’s Nominating Committee. A membership recruitment process encouraging people from a diverse backgrounds and communities will be used. When appointing members to the Committee, the following selection criteria will be considered:
- Individuals who can represent the broad geography of the City of Saint John and its various communities of interest;
- Individuals representing a sector broadly will be encouraged such as an agency or organization formed to represent economic, social, cultural, environmental interests;
- Willingness and ability to commit to the necessary two (2) year time period, including some evening meetings;
- Commitment and interest in the future of the City of Saint John and demonstrated involvement in the community through a variety of organizations and activities;
- Knowledge of economic, social, cultural, economic and environmental issues related to planning and the future of the City;
- Effective communication skills and ability to work effectively as a member of a team including respecting positions taken by the Committee;
- Ability to bring innovative and informed perspectives to the deliberation and work of the Committee;
- Leadership skills and the ability to serve as an Ambassador of the Growth Management Strategy and Municipal Plan and commitment to actively promote public engagement in the development of the Strategy and Plan throughout the all sectors community.
5. Terms of Office
Committee members shall serve for the duration of the municipal plan process (approximately two years). A person will cease to be a member of the Committee if that individual fails to attend three (3) consecutive meetings of the Committee without proper notice being given and without having been excused by resolution of the Committee. Should a person cease to be a member of the Committee during the Strategy and Plan development process, their position shall be filled by the Nominating Committee according to the same selection criteria as original members.
The Committee may form sub-committees to address specific topics and issues.
Should a member of the Committee find themselves in a conflict of interest due to the effect of an issue on them personally or professionally, they should declare this to the Committee and step down for any discussion or recommendations related to this issue.
6. Committee Chair and Vice Chair
The Municipal Plan Citizens Advisory Committee shall elect from its non-council members a chair and vice chair position. The role of the Chairperson shall be to guide the process and facilitate meetings. The Chairperson will keep the group focused on the agreed-upon tasks, suggest alternative methods and procedures and encourage the participation of all Committee members. The Chair shall work with the project team in preparing meeting agendas and supporting materials and when required, the Chairperson will also act as a spokesperson on behalf of the Committee.
The Committee will meet regularly throughout the development of the Growth Management Strategy and Municipal Plan, with meetings scheduled monthly or at a frequency necessary to support the municipal plan development. The frequency of meetings may be increased as required to support the work program for the development of the Strategy and Plan.
The City’ Planning department will provide resources and support to the Committee in the course of their work as follows: coordination of meeting schedules and venues, circulation of meeting agenda and minutes for meeting requirements such as the taking of minutes.
Decisions on recommendations to the project team and Common Council will be made by consensus and if necessary, decisions will be determined by a majority vote. The quorum, for meetings shall be seven (7).