Guelph-Eramosa sets strategic priorities

The strategic priorities have been set for Guelph-Eramosa Township going forward into the current council term and beyond.

Guelph-Eramosa council and staff met with Rob Wood from 8020 Info on May 29 for an all-day strategic planning and priorities session.

The goal of the day was to come up with an overarching structure that will give the township a direction for the next five to 10 years.

“I’m hoping, at the end of the day, this strategic plan, we will have a page or two summery basically saying, ‘here’s our goals, here’s what we want to do, who’s responsible to do it, when we’re going to do it and how we’re going to fund it,” Mayor Chris White said. “This will give us an opportunity to tie all the various departments in but give councillors a chance to make sure the vision they see for the township and those scopes are set today.”

This is the first step in the process and the township will have to look at the macro issues in the future to achieve the priorities set out.

“At the end of the day we always have to stay focused on our core services,” White said. “Roads and bridges are who we are fundamentally although I think this township is a little more proactive, I think we go beyond that.”

He said the township must figure out how to achieve everything planned and keep taxes at inflation.

“That’s a top level goal,” he said.

Councillor Corey Woods said he thought the direction needed to be shifted more long term.

“I kind of hope this council doesn’t get caught up in the short term … I want to look more where’s the township going to be in five or 10 years,” he said. “We’ve dealt with those issues … but what are we doing long term?”

White, Woods, councillor Mark Bouwmeester, councillor David Wolk, councillor Louise Marshall, CAO Kim Wingrove, clerk Meaghen Reid, chief building official Dan Sharina,      director of public works Harry Niemi, director of parks and recreation Robin Milne, and director of finance Linda Cheyne participated in the discussion.

The discussion resulted in the following strategic priorities being set:

– Development of a comprehensive long term fiscal and business plan;

– Development of an enhanced asset management plan;

– Economic readiness and development; and

– Capital investment and services plan.

“There’s a lot of scope underneath each one of those things and to do each one of them and do them very well I think will take a good effort by staff and by council,” Wingrove said in a phone interview with the Advertiser.

“Council noted that customer service, maintaining the confidence and trust of our residents and businesses and staffing and succession planning were very important areas of focus that these values were to underpin our further work,” she wrote in an email.

The next step is for staff to receive the report from Wood.

“It’s up to me to first of all work with staff and then to work with council on how do we take these strategic priorities forward, what are the specific things that we’ll do or are we required to do in order to move closer to achieving those goals,” she said.

She said staff will bring these plans to council, likely at a strategic planning meeting.