NEEDED: Significant Revamping of Surrey's website;
(IE: upgraded from its current amateurish, high-school student project appearance)
... to make it comparable to, (preferably better than!!) the first class, professional, highly accessible city of Vancouver website...
Or at least upgraded to make Surrey's website as professional in appearance, and as searchable as the city of White Rock's website:
For over a decade the city of Surrey's electronic "store front"- its website- has lagged far behind most other Metro Vancouver member cities' websites in terms of:
A) Overall appearance, usability and search-ability;
Current website comes across as though it was produced as an afterthought of city's marketing and public engagement dept-
... a lot like a grade 8 or 9 student project... NOT indicative of a city that fancies itself as a peer to the city of Vancouver...;
B) Accessibility of current and previous council and committee meetings' agendas, reports, and minutes;
... most are very difficult to locate... especially for persons with limited computer skills;
C) Languages other than English;
Current Surrey website has little to zero records and web pages in languages other than English...
The current website does have links to a Google translation service, but results are often very innacurate...
Candidates should commit to, if elected, ensuring that the city's website is substantially overhauled... with at least some of the documents/public announcements that are posted in future- posted as translated documents... into 2 or 3 languages other than English (Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Hindi??)
Committing to (in future) ensuring that specific categories of city documents/records posted on the city's website in several of the most commonly used languages of residents and business owners (other than English)
... would go a long way to communicating a philosophy of inclusiveness and objectives to increase public interest and public participation in city/South of Fraser issues...
If Surrey wants to portray itself on the world stage to potential investors and corporations as an equivalent or peer to the globally well known and respected city of Vancouver, it needs to substantially improve its defacto "store front" - its website...
While there should be kudos to Safe Surrey Coalition for committing to increase and improve city consultation with city residents and business owners by "establishing a mayor’s standing committee on public engagement" ...
... Also needed are similar commitments- from ALL candidates- to ensure that, different from previous practices,
... ALL members of Surrey's city council can participate in the processes that identify and approve:
1) Future annual "State of City Addresses"; and
2) The city's "municipal objectives"...
IE "municipal objectives", as defined by BC's Local Government Act, and Community Charter Act:
Towards this, commitments are needed that the incoming Surrey city council will expeditiously pass Bylaws that require:
A) Surrey's future annual "State of The City" addresses are prepared following to-be-developed and adopted-by-the-city... formal, inclusive and transparent procedures and guidelines;
B) All members of council are invited to and are enabled to provide input to the content of future "State of The City" addresses;
3) ALL members of council participate in:
a) Establishing the city's "municipal objectives",
b) Decisions regarding specific "municipal objectives" that are to be identified and commented on in future "State of The City" addresses;
4) Groups other than the Surrey Board of Trade ** have the same rights and opportunities as the Board - to host and benefit from hosting future "State of The City" addresses;
** Non-profit, Christian, Arts/Culture , Residents' Associations,+ other sectors of the community should be eligible to host/co-host Surrey SOCAs;