Re: Agenda item 1. 2011 – 2014 Proposed Strategic Planning Process (CSI-07-11)
Who we are
By this time, members of Council know who we are and what we are about. If you need further information, please visit our website www.shapingburlington.ca
Comments on Agenda Item 1
As noted in our two previous delegations on the Strategic Plan process, Shaping Burlington is pleased that Council is moving quickly towards development of this very important long term vision document. In addition, we appreciate the meeting with Strategic Plan staff on 25 January to get our thoughts on a draft staff report. It is clear that many of our suggestions have been incorporated. As a result, we are very supportive of the overall thrust of the latest staff report to significantly increase public involvement in comparison to the process used to develop the last Strategic Plan. We are also encouraged by the very ambitious timeline for the overall development of the Strategic Plan. We do have some suggestions that we believe would add to the effectiveness of the proposed process:
The mission statement at the bottom of p.2 refers to “key stakeholders that have a significant impact on our business (emphasis added) and its long term survival” as well as “specific needs do we try to satisfy better than our competitors (emphasis added) for these key stakeholders in order to secure their long-term loyalty, commitment and support.” This sounds much more like a mission statement for a private business than a municipal government. We suggest that it be reworded to reflect the role of a municipal government.
On page 6, we note that the proposed Strategic Planning Team is composed entirely of City Councillors and City senior management. This could lead to the public perception that the Strategic Plan is a very “Council and staff” dominated process. We suggest that one or two members of the public be added. Members of Shaping Burlington would be pleased to offer their services if you would like to consider one of us.
We would like to see more detail about the components of the proposed communications plan.
We note that one method used very successfully in the development of Strategic Plans in other jurisdictions has not been included, namely a citizen’s advisory committee throughout the development of the Strategic Plan.
We suggest that the public library branches throughout the City be used as Strategic Plan ‘reference centres”. For example, some of the artwork from the Art/Photo Contest could be displayed, as could “mini versions” of the City Hall displays showing progress on the Plan and public opportunities to get involved.
Given the high visibility of “City Hall Square”, we suggest that an outdoor display about the Strategic Plan and its progress be set up there.
One of the Shape Report recommendations was to foster the development of a web based community portal, including a wide variety of useful information about Burlington. Several groups in Burlington are actively pursuing development of such portals so we recommend City staff work with them to post full information about the Strategic Plan process and how the public can get involved. On-line discussion forums about the Strategic Plan could be incorporated, as could posting of entries in the Art/Photo Contest.
Shaping Burlington would be pleased to work with City staff to identify local volunteers skilled in facilitation to help with the “kitchen table talk” and “focus group” components as listed in Appendix B.2
Shaping Burlington appreciates this opportunity to provide comments on the proposed Strategic Planning process. We hope that they are helpful. We look forward to participating fully in the proposed process and to further opportunities to support City Council and staff in this important initiative.
Chris Walker, Chair