Council’s second strategic planning session

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Although there were no media reporters present to cover it, Collingwood Council held its second strategic planning session this term, on December 4. This was an important, all-day session for council because it set priorities for 2014, the last year this term. We also collectively agreed upon a list of our many accomplishments this term.

Based on the goals set in our first strategic planning session, we have accomplished almost everything we set out to do back then, as well as many other things that arose since that session.

The meeting was a formal council meeting and open to the public. It was held in the conference room of our new fire hall and involved all senior staff.

Here is the media release that went out last week about the results from our discussions:

A report on last week’s special council meeting will be brought to an upcoming regular council meeting for formal approval. A special council meeting was held on Wednesday, December 4, which gave council a chance to examine its priorities for 2014. From committee of the whole discussions, council will now have an opportunity to evaluate the results and suggest any amendments when the report is presented.

Council completed its initial strategic plan review in 2012. Wednesday’s session discussed the completed items from 2012, and looked at the priorities that were to be the focus for 2014.

Mayor Sandra Cooper welcomed the group and set the stage for the day’s activities.

“The New Year is a time when people take stock of where they have been, and where they are heading,” said Mayor Cooper. “That is what we are doing today. We are coming together as a team, with council and staff working together, to look strategically at what we hoped to complete, reviewing what we have achieved, and setting out a plan to accomplish as much of the remainder as we can, in an effective, efficient, and sensible manner during our final year.”

CAO John Brown noted that this review exercise will not only provide a good basis to begin 2014, but will also help during the next Council term by identifying areas that may require attention in the future.

The session began with a review of the high level accomplishments of the past three years. Staff presented council with policy development options based on previous Council discussions, municipal best practices, the pending list and staff suggestions. Members of council took part in a ‘dot-ocracy’ exercise to determine their highest priority items for 2014.

The top five priority items selected from almost 20 major priority areas suggested for 2014 were:

  1. Marketing/economic development strategy/co-location study;
  2. Governance review;
  3. Strategic financial plan;
  4. Corporate restructuring review;
  5. Facility management and development strategy.

This list represents those priorities that best serve the goals established in 2012, and reflect the needs of the community. The remaining goals will be addressed through departmental work plans and future corporate work plans. Operational activities will continue, and will not be affected by these refocused strategic priorities.

Council will receive a report summarizing the outcomes and recommendations of the session at a regular meeting of council. It will have the opportunity to evaluate the result and suggest any amendments when the report is presented.

I had expected the report to come to council today, Monday Dec. 16, but it is not on the agenda yet. The full list of issues discussed, and the list of accomplishments will be presented in that report, and I will reprint them here when that report comes forward.

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