Centre Wellington adopts strategic plan for 2019-22 council term

ELORA – Centre Wellington council has adopted its strategic plan for this term of council.

The 2019 to 2022 strategic plan has set six broad goals including:

– strong local economy;

– active and caring community;

– healthy growth;

– safe and well maintained roads and infrastructure;

– good financial management; and

– good government.

“A strategic plan is something that says to the public what you think you need to do, what are some of the opportunities, some of the issues facing Centre Wellington in the next several years and what you hope to achieve and what you think you can achieve,” said consultant Bill Winegard at the June 25 council meeting.

He has been leading council through the strategic plan process since Dec. 6.

“We’ve talked a lot about … not only what’s important to do and what would be effective and making for a better community but also what’s feasible and can be done in what period of time,” Winegard continued.

“You’ve been very careful and thoughtful about … the commitments and the terms you chose to use and the way you plan to use this document for making decisions over the course of the term and also for setting priorities.”

Under each of the broad goals council has indicated a number of strategic directions, as well as initiatives which will be undertaken throughout the 2019-22 term.

For example, one of the strategic directions under “strong local economy” is “we will promote local tourism” and one of the initiatives is to “explore the feasibility of regulating short-term rental housing.”

In total there are 21 strategic directions included in the  six goals, with a number of initiatives identified under each.

Councillor Steven Van Leeuwen said he is pleased with how inclusive the plan is of each councillor’s comments, even though some things are missing that some councillors wish were on the plan and some things are on the plan that some councillors wish were excluded.

“Every member of council has some footprints in the document … I think that’s a successful feature of the plan; it’s thoughtful and collective,” Winegard said.

Mayor Kelly Linton said he appreciated Winegard directing councillors through the process to ensure they had the right dialogue and were including information from each councillor.

“We do want this to be our plan as a council team and so I appreciate that it’s difficult to walk that line of making sure that you bring everything to the table and still get done within a time frame,” Linton said.

All councillors were in agreement that the plan was good and useful.

“I think that overall the citizens of Centre Wellington can be thrilled to see that we tried to touch on everything to try to capture the majority of people so that we don’t leave anyone behind,” said councillor Ian MacRae.

Councillor Neil Dunsmore said he appreciated the scope of the plan.

“This is really high level and that’s what I appreciated about it because it let us have some conversations and set a strategic direction and now that we have it, I’m very, very pleased,” he said.

Councillors Kirk McElwain, Stephen Kitras and Bob Foster all brought to the meeting questions and comments about small changes.

Council worked through each of their comments and came up with a plan that was agreed upon by all councillors.

The new 2019-22 term of council strategic plan was adopted by council on June 24.

For the full draft document, before council changes, visit bit.ly/2xenSa6.

Once the changes are made the final strategic plan will be available at www.connectcw.ca.