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City refining strategic plan

Workshop will help decide future direction

City of Powell River’s strategic priorities will be reviewed and updated next month.

Powell River city councillors considered the strategic priorities review during the September 3 city council meeting.

Councillor Rob Southcott, in introducing the recommendation that staff convene a strategic priorities review workshop during the week of October 5, said strategic priorities were a central and important guiding principle for council.

Councillor Maggie Hathaway said workshops such as the one suggested are good opportunities for the city to revisit plans and strategies.

“It’s timely for us to have a review of them and move forward,” said Hathaway.

Mayor Dave Formosa said appreciation goes out to the previous Powell River City Council for the strategic plans that were created were carried forward.

“They had the heartbeat of the city,” said Formosa. The mayor added there would be some additions made in the October strategic planning session.

“This council recognized we are on track and we have the addition of the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan,” he said.

Marie Claxton, city clerk, said that council reports annually on the status of its strategic priorities in the annual report issued in June.

If the public wants to know what happened in 2014, the annual report is posted on the city’s website under the heading of “reports” under mayor and council. Claxton said the document details what the objectives were and what council is looking at in moving forward.

A report for council prepared by Mac Fraser, the city’s chief administrative officer, outlined that in early 2013, the council of the day adopted six strategic priorities that were amended in October 2014.

Fraser stated that in early 2015 the new city council participated in a professional development and orientation program consisting of a series of workshops regarding asset management, land-use planning, strategic planning process and communications, as well as the Local Government Leadership Institute’s newly elected officials training session. During implementation of this program, the consensus of council was that the existing strategic priorities were appropriate for now and that a review of the strategic priorities would be undertaken after the council had approximately six months in office.

Fraser stated the existing six strategic priorities continue to provide relevant strategic guidance for municipal matters. Each of the six strategic priorities has generated considerable council and staff action through the creation of major implementation plans for each strategic priority, he added.

“Each of these plans will guide municipal actions for five to 10 years and beyond,” said Fraser. “Therefore, five of the six major implementation plans will be complete in September, while the sixth, enhanced recreational services, will require extensive review by the city, Sliammon First Nation and Powell River Regional District after submission of the draft report.”

It was proposed that council consider the strategic priorities review by early October to confirm the strategic priorities before beginning the annual update to the five-year financial plan in later October, as currently scheduled by the chief financial officer.