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Wellington North council discusses strategic plan, brainstorms for last year of term

by Olivia Rutt

KENILWORTH - Wellington North council wrapped up 2017 with a strategic planning session.

On Dec. 18, council met for a special meeting to discuss the township’s position in the strategic plan that was passed in 2015 and what council’s priorities are for  the last 12 months of its term.

CAO Mike Givens presented a report with council’s seven key initiatives:  community growth plan, human resource plan, brand and identity, strategic partnerships, community service review, corporate communications plan and positive healthy work environment.

“It’s an opportunity for us to take a look back,” said Givens. He added it would be a “good idea” to discuss the key initiatives with a forward-looking plan.

Givens also presented a list of 42 strategic priorities for 2018, 11 of which are priorities the township is “in the midst of or too deep to back out, so these initiatives need to keep going forward.”

Those priorities are:

- community growth plan;

- recreation master plan;

- Arthur waste water treatment plant design and construction;

- 2018 budget;

- organizational review;

- 2018 election;

- fees and charges bylaw;

- development charges bylaw;

- ongoing training for staff and council;

- school zones - rural and urban; and

- recreation software upgrade.

Of the remaining 31 items, councillors and staff members were asked to break out into smaller groups and come up with seven priorities on which to focus in 2018.

The groups presented items including: community relationships, growth servicing master plan, Wellington North Power shareholder role, fire service paging, shared service relationships with municipal counterparts and more.

Councillor Dan Yake said his group ranked a number of projects as a single community partnership initiative, including: Lynes Blacksmith Shop, Arthur trails, Mount Forest trails, Mount Forest pool, Mount Forest splashpad, Arthur Lions partnership for a BMX/skateboard park and Mount Forest Lions Club partnership for park refurbishments.

“We recognize how important those projects are to council and how difficult it is sometimes to say no,” said Givens.

“I think we’ve seen some very productive pickup from our community groups recognizing that we’re not in a position to write blank cheques as it relates to these projects, but we are here in partnership.”

Givens said he would rank the items from council.

“The intent for today was really to have some conversation as a group; we are the key players that can make these initiatives happen ... if we know the direction council wants staff to focus on, it makes my job a little bit easier,” he said.

“My plan at this point is to basically take the lists, look at them again outside of this framework and try to come up with a strategic priorities list … so the rest of staff, all of council and our citizens know what we are going to be focusing on in the next 12 months.”

Council accepted the report for information.

December 29, 2017


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