Kawartha Lakes’ strategic planning process considers public input and prioritizes actions

Kawartha Lakes – At the September 5 Special Council meeting at the Emergency Services Training Centre in Cameron, Council met for a second planning session to continue developing the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan with Kawartha Lakes’ senior staff.

Brenda Stonehouse, Strategy and Performance Specialist and Lean Master Black Belt, reviewed community engagement with the plan on Jump In, Kawartha Lakes, the municipality’s new online engagement platform. Jump In is a place for the community to become aware, informed and involved in a variety of municipal projects, the first of which is the Strategic Plan.

Of the 793 people who visited Jump In, 219 people registered and completed the survey. Others downloaded information, or viewed pages about other events, such as Roads 101 Roundtables. Full survey results are available on the municipal website and at Jump In, Kawartha Lakes in the Document Library.

Survey results of the top action items to achieve our Strategic Priorities are:

word cloud of strategic plan words from public surveyA Vibrant and Growing Economy

  1. Attract businesses
  2. Expand local employment
  3. Enhance infrastructure (Connecting GO Transit and Broadband improvements)

An Exceptional Quality of Life

  1. Enhance access to community and health services
  2. Develop a long term plan for roads
  3. Increase the supply of affordable housing

A Healthy Environment

  1. Protect our lakes and rivers
  2. Protect and enhance water quality
  3. Protect prime agricultural land

Good Government

  1. Ensure fiscally responsible service delivery
  2. Ensure municipal assets are maintained and well managed
  3. Provide exceptional customer service

Council and senior staff worked in small group activities to prioritize almost 100 action items in each of the four areas above, with consideration of available resources, timelines and affordability for the taxpayer. CAO Ron Taylor encouraged the group to think in terms of the key priorities that this Council will set for the municipality to accomplish over the next four years, while continuing to deliver core services.

“Our job, and it’s a tough one, is to balance the long list of needs, wants and priorities with what is affordable for our community, and come up with an inclusive and sustainable plan,” commented Mayor Andy Letham.

Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie commented, “Feedback comes to Council in many ways. We listen to the residents who tell us what’s important to them. We are hearing from people at Roads 101 sessions, at the grocery store and community events, and on Jump In.”

Toward the end of the session, the group revisited the municipality’s current vision of “Naturally beautiful, offering an exceptional lifestyle” and discussed to what extent the current vision reflects the community and its collective vision for Kawartha Lakes over the next 10-20 years.

Members of the community, partners, agencies and staff will continue to be engaged over the coming weeks as the Plan moves forward. The draft Strategic Plan will be presented to Council in December 2019.

To follow the progress of the new Strategic Plan, visit the municipal website. Stay tuned to our newsroom to hear how residents can contribute comments and ideas to the Strategic Plan. To get involved and have your say, register at Jump In, Kawartha Lakes.

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