Friday, July 13, 2012

Councillor Kipp 'Spins' Strategic Plan?

Consulted More Than 4,000 People?

It is reported in the local daily that the city consulted with over 4,000 people while in the process of developing the recently adopted strategic plan. 4,000 ? Really?

I attended every public meeting in this process and to say that 500 different people actually participated is a bit of a stretch, to claim over 4,000 sounds like spin trying to legitimize the questionable spending of $120,000 to craft a plan, our highly paid city staff should have been capable of doing themselves.

The biggest number used in the Strategic plan suggests over 500 participants at workshops, 3,560 people on the blog and more than 370 respondents to the online survey. To take these numbers and say over 4,000 were consulted is spin, plain and simple.

The biggest number are the hits recorded on the blog, I for one attended all the meetings so count among the 500 participants, I also went to the blog at least 10 times over the course of the exercise and participated in all the surveys. If all the 500 participants hit the blog as often as I did it would account for over 5000 visits......5000 visits but still only 500 people actually participating.

When you consult with 500 people in a community of 88,000 and conclude you have enough input to guide the city for the next 5 years is another example of democracy run amok.

Justifying Wasting Another $120,000

There is nothing of any revelation in this plan that simple common sense would not have said should be priorities. We need to take care of our water, sewer and roads and enhance our waterfront and insure a supply of water are hardly revelatory findings which justify the expending of another 120,000 Tax Dollars.

The Core Review Should Be Coming Next

The whole rationale offered by city manager Al Kenning for spending this money on a strategic plan was to put in place a plan from which to conduct a Core Services Review. As Mr. Kenning pointed out in the last Financial Plan it is impossible to establish priorities without a strategic plan (he did not explain what we have been doing for decades without one, perhaps this explains a lot), for this reason the Strategic Plan had to come before the Core Services Review.

So, now, without further ado......bring on the Core Services Review. Expect lots of resistance from certain members of council, and certainly from city staff.


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