Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vibrant, Creative, Caring and You!

If you have ever been involved in strategic planning, you will know that taking time away from the pressing demands of your job, life, and immediate responsibilities can be very powerful. It can lead to “outside of the box” thinking. It can bring people together for a common purpose and to develop common plans.

With the help of Angela Carter, a local facilitator, Council and Senior Staff recently undertook this type of comprehensive review of the Town’s Strategic Plan. Councillors used a full-day session in February and a follow-up meeting in April to bring forward the vision and desires of residents that we heard during last fall’s municipal election. We endeavoured to bring the voice of the community to the plan.

During these sessions, Council and Staff redefined the mission and the vision for the Town. I am pleased that that process ignited a new passion and excitement for Pelham’s future and revealed a bond and strength for moving forward.

The new Mission for the Town: Serving and enhancing our unique blend of urban and rural lifestyles.

And, we also developed a new Vision for Pelham: The most vibrant, creative, and caring community in Niagara.

This vision inspires innovation through creativity and calls for a community that is alive and vibrant.

We also identified six key strategic themes as prevailing priorities for the coming years:
• An Open, Welcoming & Inviting Community;
• A Connected Community;
• Balanced Growth;
• An Engaged & Integrated Community;
• A Self-Sustaining Community; and
• Environmental Responsibility.

From these themes, Council and Staff established a set of outcomes and general strategies to ensure that the Vision could be measured. Once Council adopts the Plan, Staff will create a business plan to identify timelines and who will be held accountable for the strategies and action.

But, part of being “An Open, Welcoming & Inviting Community” means that Council remains committed to engaging you and other residents in the Strategic Planning process. We want to hear from you and encourage additional input, ideas, and actions prior to formally adopting the plan.

Therefore, the Town will host a public open house on Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30 PM in the Council Chambers at Pelham Town Hall to allow you to review the Plan and provide feedback. The draft Strategic Plan will be available for your review on the Town’s website prior to the meeting.

I hope you will review the Plan and provide your reaction so we can continue to work together make Pelham the most vibrant, creative, and caring community in Niagara.