The County is asking the public to complete a survey to provide public input for their strategic plan for the years 2019 – 2023. This is quite different to the process used by Cobourg Council – although it was open to the public, no advance input was solicited for the Cobourg version. Instead, a draft plan will be available online at some point for comment (but not yet). One immediate problem is that many people are not clear on all the responsibilities of the County. Apart from pickup garbage, what do they actually do? The survey asks what you like about Northumberland; what programs and services do you feel should be priority areas for focus, and why; what should be changed or improved; are there major opportunities and are there major risks.
The survey is open until March 28 and responses will be shared with County Councillors and staff in their Strategic Planning session in April.
What does the County do?
It’s not just a lot of people occupying their Cobourg headquarters (photo), they have a $123M budget and do a lot of things! There is a full list supplied by the County in the Links below but I like reasonably short lists:
- Maintain 503 km of County roads – snow plowing, weed control, mowing, cleaning, surface treatment, ditch and culvert management, paving and repair, road signs
- Maintain 48 bridges and 64 culverts, streetlights, 36 traffic signals
- Collect waste, manage landfill and transfer stations, operate recycling facility
- Maintain 344 housing units and 34 buildings
- Manage 5,424 acres of forest
- Maintain Archives
- Provincial Court Services
- County Economic Development and Tourism
- Provide Planning services
- Food Processing services
- Northumberland Paramedics
- Social Services including Financial support programs, operate Food 4 All Warehouse, homelessness support, affordable housing
- Golden Plough Lodge
- Provide HR, IT, communications and other support services for the above.
Questions on Survey
You might want to think about your answers to the questions before you start the survey.
- If you had to explain Northumberland to someone who doesn’t live or work here, what would you say?
- Northumberland County’s current population is approximately 86,000. Imagine our community in 30 years, when the population is approaching 120,000.
- What do you love about Northumberland that you want to see preserved, and why?
- What changes would you like to see in the future and why?
- Consider the outline of services delivered by the County.
- What does the County do well and should continue doing?
- What are areas for improvement: What are we not doing that we should be doing?
- As the County moves forward with long-term strategic and financial planning, what programs and services do you feel should be priority areas for focus, and why?
- Are there major opportunities that the County should pursue in order to ensure a strong and vibrant Northumberland?
- Are there major risks that the County should consider in setting priorities?
- What is your age? [Choose age range]
- What is your relationship to Northumberland County? [Live, work or have business here]
- In which municipality do you reside (or, if not living in Northumberland, in which community do you work)? [Choose]
So if you think they should do more or if they should do less, here is your chance to tell them.
- Link to County Survey
- County Services List (2 page pdf)
- Council Plans New Direction – Report on Cobourg’s Strategic Planning session – 14 Feb 2019
- County Eliminates Bulky Waste Voucher – report on budget – 31 Jan 2019