Hall Monitor Homework: Ready the Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan, Kingston, OntarioWith council on it’s summer schedule, I thought I’d take the opportunity to suggest my readers do a bit of  homework. What could be better than a cold drink, shady spot on a hammock under a tree… and council documents in hand, right?

Last spring, our local politicians spent a total of four evenings developing what they ended up calling the Corporate Strategic Plan, 2011 to 2014. Then, this past May, they sat back down to review what’s been done. With council off for a few weeks, I thought this might be a great chance to take a closer look at this important document and share what’s in it – and what’s to come.

If you haven’t had the chance to pick up a copy, do. They’re available at the front desk of city hall, or you can get a digital copy from the city’s website. The plan, in it’s own words, “is a framework to achieve our community vision and it establishes goals and objectives to achieve the priorities set out by council and the needs of the community”. Within it, you’ll find a look at the council’s vision, mission and values and also council’s nine guiding principals. What I want to focus on, though, are the 6 priorities:

  1. Maintaining and enhancing infrastructure
  2. Enabling economic development
  3. Rejuvenating brownfields
  4. Facilitating affordable housing
  5. Creating and protecting greenspaces
  6. Developing proactive community plans

When council created them, the plan was that anything they subsequently did could be measured against this ruler to see if they were keeping in-line with what they said they’d do. So much, so, that the last few pages are a check list of sorts, giving you the opportunity to see what’s planned. The CAO also provides an update to this grid at the end of every quarter, letting council know what they’ve gotten done and, perhaps more importantly, what’s been missed and why.

A small look at what’s on the 2012 agenda:

  • Complete 701 Division Street facility construction project
  • Restore (Spirit of Sir John A.) locomotive artifact in Confederation Park
  • Complete cultural heritage tourism plan
  • Issue request for proposal to construct affordable housing on City owned surplus lands at Leroy Grant property (Carry-over from 2011)
  • Develop guidelines for secondary suites in greenfield developments
  • Review and amend Ontario Works delivery model
  • Review the mandate and structure of the Kingston Municipal Heritage Committee (KMHC)

Now, some of you may notice that a few of those have already begun, like the train restoration. Some, like the KMHC restructuring are already done. In all, there are 49 tasks scheduled (or re-scheduled) for 2012. and the CAO’s update in early May gave everyone a fantastic picture of where we stood.

I’d strongly encourage everyone interested in what’s going on to give it a read – it’s probably the quickest way (especially when combined with the annual reports) to get up to speed with the city.

Council is on summer vacation next meets on July 17, 2012. We’ll be there to live-tweet it. Our conversations with your councilors begin in July.

Thanks to the City for the photo, which is the six images on the front of the Strategic Plan. Each of them is used to represent one of the strategic priorities.

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