City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the January 10 Meeting?

This is the first council meeting of the year, and it’s another orientation session of a sort as members of the horseshoe sit down and look at the City of Guelph’s Strategic Plan. What is it? What does it do? How does it guide things like the development of the City budget? Those are just a few of the questions that will be asked and answered over the course of this session.

NOTE #1: Since of these meetings is a workshop and the other is brief meeting to pass appointments, there are no delegation opportunities at these meetings.

NOTE #2: In addition to appearing in-person, this meeting will also be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

NOTE #3: This meeting starts at 10 am.

Guelph’s Strategic Plan, Future Ready 2019-2023 –  The council calendar begins, perhaps appropriately, with a review of the Strategic Plan in advance of the update for this new term of council. The staff presentation – which will be overseen by CAO Scott Stewart; acting GM of Strategy, Innovation and Intergovernmental Services Daniel Beemsigne; and acting GM of Finance and City Treasurer Shanna O’Dwyer – will cover the five pillars of the Strategic Plan:

Powering Our Future – The objectives include accelerating the innovation economy, supporting businesses, and adapting to changing workforce needs. The key performance indicators (KPIs) include the number of new businesses and connections created, plus the number of businesses reporting Guelph as a good place to do business.

Sustaining Our Future – In this category, Guelph aims to build a sustainable city while reducing the carbon footprint and executing an ambitious and achievable climate action plan. The KPIs here include an increase in renewable energy, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the reduction of climate risk exposure to City assets.

Navigating Our Future – This pillar is all about transportation, the effort to improve local and regional transit, to adapt clean technology, and provide affordable and reasonable transportation options. Success will be determined by increased connectivity, a reduction in collisions, and changing the percentage of mode share by means other that the private automobile.

Working Together for Our Future – This one is about City services, attracting talent, improving communications, and developing strategies to manage finances and other resources. The City’s credit rating, the citizen satisfaction survey, employee engagement, and the rate burden as percentage of household income are indicators of success here.

Building Our Future – Cost-wise, this is the biggest pillar, worth approximately the same in the annual operating budget as all the other pillars combined. This one means maintaining community assets, working to increase housing needs, and building a strong, safe and health community. The KPIs here include the percentage of assets at satisfactory service levels, improved response times, the percentage of affordable residential units, and a sense of belonging in Guelph.

There appears to be no other goal for council in this workshop other than the receipt of information. Presumably, there will also be a lot of Q&A and discussion about next steps.


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