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It’s been a long time coming – developed in February by the new council, it was first tabled at Council March 30 and opened to the public for comment.    We don’t know how many comments were received but there were not many changes made as a result.  The vision, mission and five objectives were not changed, a couple of minor edits were made and two new Strategic Actions added.  At the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 22nd a motion will be made to adopt it.  Note that the subject of Governance will be handled separately towards the end of 2015.

If you haven’t seen the Plan, you can download it from the Town’s web site here or see it here - the draft version, virtually identical except for two additions – see below).

In that post, I listed highlights:

2.2  Develop a cultural master plan – would have helped with the Park Theatre proposal
2.5  Develop a policy on the Town's financial support for arts, culture and heritage –  would also have helped with the Park Theatre proposal
4.1  Develop an implementation plan for the parks master plan - including waterfront.  A consensus on the waterfront is badly needed
4.2  Complete and implement the marina master plan – likely on hold until 2017.
4.4  Review future uses of the Tannery property and bring to a resolution – so far, nothing happening

But the two new actions are interesting and significant. They were not mentioned in the public sessions on Strategic planning so they were presumably added in response to the private comments of one or more citizens, councillors or staff. Maybe we'll be told where they came from at the C.O.W. meeting when they are up for approval.

Two New Strategic Actions

  • Ensure that the Town is adequately prepared for climate change (new clause 4.6)
  • Review the Town’s budget setting process (new clause 5.4)

There is no detail provided on what these mean so let’s look at what might be intended.

Reviewing the Town’s budget setting process is clear enough – just before it was passed, some citizens raised a large number of leading questions which were not answered before the budget was passed. Note that after the budget was passed, John Henderson did provide some answers but it was too late. So a review of the process would seem useful.

But being “adequately prepared for climate change” is not clear.  Does that mean helping mitigate climate change – doing our bit to not generate carbon dioxide – or does it mean getting ready for a hotter climate?  Whatever it is, the implication is that a comment from one or more citizens suggested this and staff and the Mayor agreed.  Or maybe it came from staff or a councillor?  It seems a bit out of place in a Municipal policy/planning document.

But work on the Heritage Master Plan and the Downtown Master plan with its associated Community Improvement Plan are steps in the right direction to implement the other strategies in the Plan.


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