In early October 2015, WaterWerks sat down with the Town of Torbay to talk about their budget consultations. Their challenge was one that arguably, every municipality faces. Low citizen engagement.
They identified that, in the past two years, Torbay’s budget consultation has been largely unsuccessful. The previous year they had no one attend and the year before, only five did. WaterWerks proposed an Interactive Town Hall and social media budget consultation. #AskTorbay anything you want to know about the 2016 budget would be Newfoundland and Labrador’s first ever live-streamed Interactive Town Hall.
Virtual Town Hall 2016
The Town invited anyone via Twitter, Facebook, email or even by phone to participate in an open exchange about issues facing the town for the upcoming year and beyond. The consultation was recorded with a moderator and live-streamed via YouTube. That moderator, fittingly enough, happened to be the CEO of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.
By every metric, we would consider this campaign a success. With 58 unique questions, extensive press coverage, a healthy social media presence boost, and a successful live-streamed event, we achieved and surpassed our goals for the project.
Virtual Budget 2018
When the Town again wanted to live stream their budget in 2018, we wanted some fresh new ideas. Part of that was filming progress updates with individual Councilors. We didn’t just want them to talk about the progress live, but allow residents to see the projects supported by their tax dollars.
WaterWerks and the Town of Torbay continue to work together to build on these successes in order to achieve positive and meaningful citizen engagement throughout the year.