Strategically city council apparently knows what it plans to do for the next 25 years - really? Strategic Plan approved.

element_strategic_planBy Pepper Parr

April 12, 2016


It was more than a year in the making during which it went from the traditional Burlington four year plan that got expanded to a 25 year plan that added $200,000 to the city’s budget, presumably to maintain the plan or do some of the numerous promises in the document.

Council was proud as punch with the achievement.

It was described as the product of public engagement and a plan the city believes captures the priorities of the city’s residents and community leaders. Input was gathered from business groups, community groups, staff and residents. The city held workshops in late 2015 and early 2016 to test the draft with the community, making 176 changes to get to the final version.

Burlington aerial

A City that Grows, A City that Moves, A Healthy and Greener City and An Engaging City – call it home – with a plan for the next 25 years.

In the media release the city said: The strategic plan includes four strategic directions:
A City that Grows
The City of Burlington attracts talent, good jobs and economic opportunity while having achieved intensification and a balanced, targeted population growth for youth, families, newcomers and seniors.
A City that Moves
People and goods move through the city more efficiently and safely. A variety of convenient, affordable and green forms of transportation that align with regional patterns are the norm. Walkability within new/transitioning neighbourhoods and the downtown are a reality.
A Healthy and Greener City
The City of Burlington is a leader in the stewardship of the environment while encouraging healthy lifestyles.
An Engaging City
Community members are engaged, empowered, welcomed and well-served by their city. Culture and community activities thrive, creating a positive sense of place, inclusivity and community.

James Ridge - looking right

City manager James Ridge – once he got his teeth into it – the Strategic Plan became his baby – now he has to deliver on it.

“The new plan is a blueprint for city-building,” said City Manager James Ridge. “This is a bold, ambitious multi-year plan that we will deliver in partnership with the community.”

The media releases are intended to put the city’s spin on an event. What was actually said during the Monday evening council meeting wasn’t quite the same

There was serious concern over the lack of any prioritization and where the money was going to come from to pay for all the plans.

Mayor Rick Goldring said: “With the strategic plan now approved, the city will work with its leadership team to add detail to each strategic direction, including completing the city’s Official Plan and Transportation and Transit Master Plan.

“I look forward to working with council, staff, our residents and businesses to get started on initiatives across Burlington outlined in our strategic plan.”

The city will continue to report back to the community on the progress of the plan, including through issues of City Talk, and through advertising and social media as well as updates to City Council.

The intention is to continually review, refine and update of the Plan quarterly.

And of course the Gazette is going to be there every step of the way. We were the only media organization that attended every one of the Strategic Plan meetings and have an insight that will inform what we write.

During the creation of the Strategic Plan Mayor Goldring made a trip to China – there was never a report on that trip – what it cost and what was achieved.

Strategic Plan Workbook

In the beginning – when work on the developing of a Strategic Plan started it was going to be a four year plan – it grew.

There has not been a report on how much was spent on the creation of the report – going from a four year plan to a 25 year plan certainly added to the cost.

Also, there doesn’t appear to be a recorded vote or any discussion on the decision to move from a four year time frame to a 25 year time frame.

The Strategic Plan will be on the city’s web site – as soon as we know exactly where it is we will advise you.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.