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Media Release - City strategic planning sessions sets direction

February 4, 2019
City strategic planning session sets direction

City of Powell River’s Mayor, Council, and senior staff members spent a productive day focusing on the City’s strategic planning, setting priorities for the future.
On Friday, February 1, a special Committee of the Whole meeting was called for the first of two strategic planning sessions, to which the public was invited to attend. The day was facilitated by Christien Kaaij, of Alofii Consultancy, who led Council and staff through a series of exercises.
The first exercise of the day was to examine the City’s vision and values. Kaaij outlined that vision describes how things are going to be accomplished, and that values are the guiding principles that provide support.
The participants were then instructed to work at building a short vision statement, preferable 10 words or less, that will have relevancy into the future.
This was followed presentations from the City’s various department heads, who provided overviews of their departments, and outlined the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by their respective departments.
Participants then examined the strategic priorities that guided council and the City during council’s last mandate, and to look at the relevancy of those priorities today. This exercise laid the foundation for an update of the City’s strategic priorities moving forward. Following the City’s last strategic planning session, community priorities included sustainability, economic revitalization, social planning and action and community engagement. The strategic corporate priorities for the City included financial resiliency, asset management, regional recreation, emergency preparedness and community planning. Council and senior staff are now laying the groundwork for the evolution of these priorities that will help the City with its decision-making processes moving forward.
City of Powell River Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Russell Brewer said the February 1 session was a great first day of strategic planning. Doing it early in a council’s term and early in the City’s budget cycle is important, he added.
“It will inform the budget cycle and it will inform the next four years of council,” Brewer said.
“I was inspired by some of what I heard. There will be some current strategic priorities refined and a new focus in a couple of areas that are important.”
Brewer said he thinks the strategic planning exercise will help set expectations for the community and also internally for the City’s work plans going forward. Upon completion of the strategic planning exercise, the community will have a better understanding of what council’s priorities are and the city as a corporation will have a better understanding of what council’s priorities are.
“I’m hopeful, coming out of this, we’ll have a good work plan that reflects those priorities,” Brewer said. “It will allow us to check in on what those priorities are. If new priorities and action items emerge during the term, it will allow us to check back in on where we landed after this.”
Brewer said he thinks there is value in the strategic planning exercise because it’s clear there are some new strategic priorities that have emerged that will form part of a new strategic plan, which will lead to new action items for the community as a whole. He said he is excited to be undertaking this exercise early in his mandate as CAO.
Mayor Dave Formosa said there is importance in the strategic planning exercise.
“There is always value in bringing together staff, council and the public to look at which way you’re going,” he said.
“When you look back at the strategic priorities that we did four years ago, I was delighted to see there were nine up there and seven of them we’ve completed or are in the middle of doing. We are a new council, and we may have the same priorities, or some new ones. We’ll identify those new ones and we’ll be able to work on those just like we successfully worked on the last.”
For more information, contact:
Russell Brewer, Chief Administrative Officer
(604) 485-8601


Event date: 
Monday, February 4, 2019 - 4:15pm


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