City Will Unveil Plans for Hall St. Revitalization at Public Open House
The City of Nelson is going to refurbish Hall Street from Baker right down to the waterfront. It will hold an open house to share its plans for this on Tuesday, October 23.
At a similar public open house at the Hume Room in Nelson in 2008, in which the city was asking for input on one of its planning initiatives, the late Richard Carver— local curmudgeon, social commentator and active community volunteer— strode into the room and asked the presiding city employee a provocative question in his characteristic ringing voice and distinguished British accent.
“Where’s the sign?”
“Excuse me? What sign do you mean?”
“The big colourful sign outside on the sidewalk,” said Carver, “inviting the citizens of Nelson to come in and share their ideas about their beloved city!”
“Well, we don’t have one. But we put a notice in the paper,” said the employee.
“But what about all the people,” said Carver, “who don’t read the paper? How will they find out?”
“Well, they could go to our website,” said the employee.
At a Nelson City Council meeting in 2011, council had a discussion with its then communications consultant Deryn Collier about how to better communicate with, and get feedback from, the public. They were discussing things like press releases and newsletters.
“But what about the young people,” a councillor asked. “Where are they?”
“They are on social media,” said Collier. “That’s where they get their information.”
To read an earlier story in The Nelson Daily about Nelson City Council’s reluctance to hear from citizens via social media, click here.
Meanwhile, back at the open house in 2008, Richard Carver then asked a different city employee why there were no posters around town advertising the event—colourful, professional, eye-catching posters. Why isn’t the city competing with the Spirit Bar, he asked, for poster space around town? “Isn’t this event more important than the latest DJ?”
The city employee said she thought that would be a great idea, and said she didn’t think the city had ever thought of posters as a way of publicizing an event.
Notice of next week’s open house, like the one in 2008, will be in the paper and on the City’s website.
Hall Street is the only direct corridor between Baker Street and the lakefront, and the City plans to refurbish its entire length by making it more pedestrian friendly with boulevard trees and improved sidewalks. The southern-most block of Hall Street (by Bibo and Boomtown Sports) will become a pedestrian plaza with trees and benches. A committee of council members, city staff, and members of the public has been working on this for several months. At the open house, they will share their ideas.
To read an earlier story in The Nelson Daily giving more details about the city’s plans to upgrade Hall Street, click here.
The open house will be held at the Chamber of Commerce, 225 Hall St., from 5:30 to 7:30 on Tuesday, October 23.