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Public participation should be driven by the specific goals and objectives of the program, in consideration of the specific groups of potentially affected interests or stakeholders, NOT by a random collection of public participation techniques.

Public participation should take place as early as possible in a decision process, preferably at the scoping or option identification stage. It should include specific activities as well as informal, “keeping an ear to the ground” efforts, and should focus on opportunities for two-way communication and responsiveness by the public.

The decision-making entity should commit in advance to the planned level of public involvement and how it will use the public input that is received to make its decision. People must be brought to realize that the City is always listening to their concerns, even though it may not always agree with what it hears or implements.

Appropriate techniques range from simply informing citizens to involving them through opportunities for direct participation in decision making. The guiding principle is to select the fewest number of the simplest techniques that will meet the objectives.

Public input must be fully integrated and sequenced with technical work and the decision process in order to be useful in raising and resolving emerging issues.

Providing feedback to public participants is critical to confirming their input, demonstrating that it is valued and in maintaining their interest in participating in City processes.