Mapleton council adopts strategic plan for township

MAPLETON – Stewardship, good governance, inclusivity, innovation, and prudent fiscal management are the core elements of a 2023 to 2026 strategic plan adopted by council here.

Mapleton council pledged, in a motion passed at its July 11 meeting, to be guided by the plan’s fundamental values “in all its actions and decisions.”

“You guys are very familiar with the strategic plan. It came from you, so our department just … made it into a formal document with the recommendations from you,” economic development manager Aly Hill told council.

“The document is attached and really that is just for you guys to approve that staff continue to work on it for the next four years of the term,” she added.

Under the heading of “vigilant asset management” the plan, titled “Rooted in tradition. Growing for the future,” indicates council and staff will:

  • investigate innovative solutions for major infrastructure investment including water / wastewater;
  • continue to refine and strengthen the township’s asset management plans;
  • ensure capital planning will accommodate growth and development; and
  • advance fleet, equipment and physical plant maintenance and replacement programs.

Regarding efforts to maintain a prosperous and diversified economy, the plan calls for:

  • promoting Mapleton as a choice for new employment opportunities;
  • continuing to support the existing business community;
  • conducting a detailed evaluation of the provincial housing mandate;
  • determining how current Mapleton’s urban design guidelines are and updating as required;
  • facilitating progress with new residential development; and
  • reviewing and updating Mapleton’s Community Improvement Plan.

Under the heading “Our Wellbeing’ the plan calls for:

  • assessment of options to expand recreational facilities and programming;
  • a review and update of Mapleton’s economic and cultural plans;
  • continued support for the Minto-Mapleton Family Health Team’s health care recruitment committee’s efforts;
  • continued support of partnerships for childcare initiatives; and
  • conducting a comprehensive review of open space, parkland and recreational trail assets including new opportunities through development plans.

In terms of fiscal management, the plan indicates council and staff will:

  • build on the leadership Mapleton has shown with cost-sharing and partnerships with other Wellington County municipalities;
  • investigate opportunities for procurement partnerships and cooperative purchasing of goods and services;
  • investigate innovative financial solutions for major infrastructure investment including water/wastewater capital financing;
  • evaluate the notion of a dedicated levy to address capital financial requirements;
  • monitor and explore senior government funding programming (e.g., grants, zero interest / forgivable loans);
  • review the concept of “full cost recovery’” as applied to user rates, program fees and other programming and services; and
  • analyze and plan for provincial policy impacts on development charges.

The plan commits township officials to strive for “operational excellence” by:

  • completing the current fire services master plan and consider the outcomes and recommendations;
  • considering alternative models and trends in workplace culture and employee experience;
  • examining options to advance management concepts or aimed at continuous improvement and streamlining processes and procedures;
  • developing a framework to continuously update and refresh corporate information technology capacity, including digital file management, hardware and software platforms;
  • conducting a comprehensive examination into options to expand online and digital services such as registration, booking, permits and transactions;
  • launch a citizen reporting platform;
  • continually evaluate social media as a two-way communication platform;
  • ensure the corporate culture and service and program delivery addresses accessibility requirements and equity, diversity and inclusivity considerations;
  • research options to promote innovation and better practices (e.g., “suggestion box”, employee incentives); and
  • review and enhance employee attraction and retention policy, including a competitive compensation policy framework and a commitment to training and professional development.

The strategic planning process was initiated in early 2023, with the assistance of the consulting firm of Erebus Municipal services, to set the course for Mapleton until 2026

A report from the township’s economic development department indicates consultant Murray Clarke met with various community stakeholders and groups “to understand the wants and vision that the community had for the future.”

The process included a general survey delivered through various forms of media to the Mapleton residents and sessions with council and senior staff to fine tune the plan.

Mayor Gregg Davidson expressed concern the printed format of the plan should be accessible to all residents.

Davidson asked if the format had been looked at through the lens of someone with an impairment of vision – “whether those colours are going to be something they can read.”

“I don’t believe we have, but we can definitely run that through … and change that accordingly if we have that issue,” replied Hill.

Council passed a motion accepting the staff report on the plan for information and that council and staff “commit to implementing the stated objectives as identified … during their day to day duties and decision making.”

The motion also directs progress towards achieving the plan objectives be measured and reported to council annually by senior staff through the CAO.