Saturday, April 07, 2012

Nanaimo's Strategic Plan

An Indictment Of Our 
Current Government?

While I have great respect for the consultants the city has engaged through the company RETHINK (West) and the process they employ to develop a strategic plan to guide the city, I wonder why the process should be necessary if our Councillors and city managers are doing their jobs.

The strategic planning process as I have witnessed so far has involved different public workshops across the city and have engaged various influence groups in the process. This process results in finding out what the community feels is important based on their perceptions. These perceptions will differ depending on who you are listening to with the interests of seniors differing from the interests of teens and youth for example.

There are common interests regardless of who you consult such as economic stability, sound fiscal government at city hall, open communication with city hall, better transportation, maintain infrastructure etc. None of the ideas that have been presented are exactly revelatory and in fact I wonder why after having just come through a civic election which gave the entire community an opportunity to tell their elected officials what they feel is important, is this exercise necessary a scant few months after the election?

The process has the function of gathering input from the public (which was a $21,000 option), processing this information, combining it with previous studies and plans, and creating one final overarching master plan to guide the city forward. Two purposes of the plan as stated in the current city financial plan are to structure the organization of the city, and establish spending priorities. We currently approved an $844,000,000.00 financial plan which you would like to think already is based on community accepted priorities which will be executed by a properly structured organization that already exists at city hall. Which brings me full circle in my question of the need of the process if city Councillors (getting input) and city hall managers (executing council's will) are doing their duties as one might expect.

The validity of the process, which got input from less than 400 people at the workshops is a questionable basis for crafting city policy to guide Councillors and city managers as they attempt to lead Nanaimo for the next decade or so. It seems that if the Councillors and city managers were already listening to the public they would have their finger on the 'pulse' of the community and would have already established a strategic plan for the city.

I also find little comfort in the notion, that we have just approved an $844,000,.000.00 Financial Plan if it is not based on a sound strategic plan with well thought out spending priorities already serving as the foundation. If not......... what in blazes have we been doing these past decades??


No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will appear after moderation before publishing,

Thank you for your comments.Any comment that could be considered slanderous or includes unacceptable language will be removed.

Thank you for participating and making your opinions known.