Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Council examines Strategic Planning and Budget process for 2015

Meetings, meetings, meetings, will be the New Year's resolution for Prince Rupert City Council for 2015, as Council and City staff work out the schedule ahead to develop a Strategic Plan for the year.

On Monday evening, Council discussed the path they might wish to to take, with the first week of February seemingly the target date to bring all of their thoughts together with the help of a facilitator to be contracted for the task.

Towards that prospect, Council has plans to meet through the next month to line up which items need to be addressed as part of the Strategic Planning.

Along with discussions as to how they wish to approach that work, Council also reviewed how they might wish to keep the Budget process moving through the early portion of 2015.

The City's CFO outline some of the benchmarks as far as information required to set the budget figures into place, followed by a review of the timeline when it comes to the consultation required as part of the Budget process.

Council members then engaged in a fairly lengthy review of how they wish to approach that public consultation, with both Councillor Thorkelson and Councillor Mirau reviewing one of the public info sessions held at the Civic Centre in 2013 (reviews here and here perhaps).

Sessions, which in their opinion provided for more of an opportunity for the public to express its anger at Council, rather than to offer up suggestions as far as budget preparations might go.

The Mayor observed that those kind of details on engagement with the public could be worked out as Council moves along, calling on his experience as a Facilitator as useful in moving those conversations forward.

Councillor Mirau also outlined how the City needs to find a way to better communicate the complexities of the Budget process to the public, using the example of Squamish as a community that makes use of such things as E Town Halls, workshops and to provide for an information delivery process to explain their work on the Budget better.

With a number of issues still to be determined through the overall process, in the end Council came to the decision that they couldn't at this time set a firm schedule as to the sessions required.

City Manager Robert Long then provided some thoughts on how to move the process forward, outlining the Standardize Budget process used in the past, but making note of Council's desire to find innovative ways to consult and advise the public on issues related to the Budget.

He went on to advise Council that City Staff would try to find ways put those desires into motion  as the process moves forward.

To review the conversation regarding their Strategic Planning ambitions  and Budget  discussion see the City Video Archive from the 52 minute mark, carrying through until the 1 hour thirteen minute mark.

A full review of Monday's City Council session can be found on our Timeline feature.

For more items related to developments at City Council see our archive page here.

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