In my column in March, I talked about community and how intentional action can lead to change.
I also mentioned how much I reflected on this concept as we (council and staff) worked through the 2018-2022 strategic planning process.
I know strategic planning isn’t glamorous and likely sounds fairly boring, but it’s critically important. This is the plan that will guide staff direction and activity. It is the plan that guides council priorities and decisions for the next three-and-a-half years.
You will see this plan in your neighbourhoods and your lives on a daily basis, so I wanted to take this opportunity to try to break it down now that it has officially been adopted by council.
I can say without hesitation this plan is the product of the nine individuals trusted to lead the community and we are united in the vision and priorities it contains.
There are a lot of words in the plan, but the seven I believe are some of the most important are those we chose to reflect our shared values: respect, collaboration, teamwork, optimism, trust, accountability and innovation.
At first blush, this might seem like a generic list. I assure you this list reflects what we are most passionate about.
We started with more than 30 words, landed on these seven and are committed to keeping these values front of mind as we move ahead with our attention focused on our four priorities:
• Governance and accountability: the main thrust of this is accountability and engaging residents in council’s priorities (as I am doing here).
• Livability: our goal is to maintain a high quality of life for an inclusive, healthy and diverse community.
• Vibrant economy: supporting a diverse, vibrant and resilient economy. As the council liaison to the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, I’m looking forward to exploring how we can work together in support of this priority.
• Environmental leadership: leading by example, making sustainable choices to minimize our environmental footprint.
The priorities above are, intentionally, broad.
There are then focus areas under each priority and the amount of activity under each focus area quickly grows once tangible projects and actions are added under each focus area.
I hope you’re still with me.
Trust me, I’m not trying to bore you to tears.
I firmly believe it’s critical for the community to understand the areas of focus going forward.
Knowing the focus for the next few years will allow for a common understanding and (I’m hoping) facilitate community-driven idea generation that aligns with these areas.
The areas of focus under each priority are:
• Governance and accountability: focus on asset management, community engagement, external relationships and fiscal responsibility.
• Livability: focus on arts, culture and heritage, healthy community, housing, inclusivity, places and spaces and safety.
• Vibrant economy: focus on business health, economic strength and partnerships.
• Environmental leadership: focus on climate action, sustainability and transportation.
It is a lot of information to digest. I encourage you to reach out to me or any other councillor to ask questions or get more information.
Now that this plan is in place, I’m excited to explore the possibilities in moving Kamloops forward. We are a city of tremendous character and potential and I think our options are immense.
Sadie Hunter is a Kamloops councillor. She can be reached by email at email@example.com. To comment on this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org.