If we were completely successful in this round table process, solved the issues and capitalized on the opportunities,

how would citizens be invited, involved, engaged and served by the City of Guelph?

Our citizens are the start, the middle and the end of why governments exist. Citizens are people who live in Guelph or own a business here, regardless of their legal status in Canada. Our citizens are remarkably diverse and some are new to Guelph and Canada. Citizenship, however, goes past these things – it implies a deeper relationship with community and government. Citizens contribute beyond their own self-interest and support their neighbours and community.

That level of commitment must be matched and met by government. It’s in our own self-interest to include citizens in our priority setting and decision making. We end up with better relationships and better policies that are more readily followed. And we’re much more likely to get it right the first time than if we worked in isolation.

Citizen expectations will continue to change and increase. Our relationship has shifted. Citizens use social media to gain direct access to decision makers. They are clear about their needs, they are savvy and they are also willing to roll up their sleeves to help make things better.

How we serve our citizens should be consistent across service areas, departments and divisions as well as across all platforms including websites, social media, email, phone and in-person conversations.

How much do we know about our citizens? How do we learn what they really need and set meaningful standards to ensure their needs are met each and every time? How do we appreciate the vocal minority and still understand the broader consensus? How do we measure “citizen-first” – how will we know when we get there?