In June 2023, Council drafted a new Strategic Plan and then in October decided to ask citizens to comment. Now at the Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on November 6, Council will be asked to approve the final plan. Before that vote, staff will report on what was learned from the citizen survey. Although 257 residents looked at the survey page, only 64 actually completed the survey – that’s a small sample of the 3,337 registered users on EngageCobourg.ca. Seems few people care about the Strategic plan. See resources below for the full report by Kara Euale, Communications Manager. But few responses or not, they will guide Council and Staff on priorities. However, the good news is that CAO Tracey Vaughan has promised to provide an operational plan early in 2024. That should provide the specific actions missing from the Strategic plan.
As well as the online survey, staff also provided five In-person engagement opportunities but have not reported on what was learned from that.
Let me try to summarize:
The plan had 3 Strategic Priorities – survey respondents ranked Thriving Community as number one, closely seconded by Sustainability and Service Excellence was ranked third.
Q. In comparison with the previous Strategic Plan, do you believe the draft Strategic Plan 2023 – 2027 and Beyond plan is a clear framework to assist staff achieve Council’s vision?
10 – Yes
13 – No
41 – need to wait and see
Q. In comparison to the previous Strategic Plan, do you believe that the Strategic Plan 2023 – 2027 and Beyond plan will allow for more transparent reporting and status updates?
20 – Yes
14 – No
30 – need to wait and see
Q. Do you believe the Strategic Questions will be an effective tool in aligning future Operational Plans and budgets to meet Council’s vision as set out in this plan?
18 – Yes
15 – No
30 – need to wait and see
Vision and Mission
The survey also asked about the new Vision and Mission statements. (New and old Vision and Mission statements shown here)
New Vision: Welcoming community; thriving town
Q. Do you agree with the new Vision Statement for Cobourg?
22 – Yes
22 – No
20 – Somewhat
The Survey asked for suggestions on Vision Statements and there was a wide variety. For a full list, go to Appendix A in Resources below: Q11, Page 14.
New Mission: Exceeding expectations through quality experiences
Q. Do you agree with the new Mission statement for Cobourg?
18 – Yes
22 – No
21 – Somewhat
The Survey asked for suggestions on Mission Statements and there was a wide variety. For a full list go to Appendix A in Resources below: Q12, Page 17.
In addition to multiple choice questions, there was a question asking for further feedback.
These covered a wide range; many wanted more specific goals; some saw the plan as “corporate mumbo jumbo”. Go to pages 20 to 28 of Appendix A.
There is no indication that the citizen feedback resulted in any changes to the plan but I note what’s included in the motion that staff recommends:
- That Council direct staff to use community feedback received on the draft strategic plan to help inform the 2024 Operational Plan [as promised by the CAO].
- That Council adopt the Town of Cobourg Strategic Plan 2023 – 2027 and Beyond.
So the feedback would not change the plan but would influence priorities and which things to actually do.
I wonder what the priorities would be of the taxpayers who did not participate in the survey? Maybe people will tell Nicole, Adam and Aaron at their informal meeting – see “Other Links” below.
- Community Engagement Report – Council Strategic Plan 2023 – 2027 and Beyond – by Kara Euale
- Appendix A to report – includes details of survey and responses.
- Strategic Plan (draft since not yet approved)
Cobourg Blog Articles
- Nicole Beatty’s Facebook page – includes invitation to join Nicole, Adam Bureau and Aaron Burchat at Lailies and the Dutch (was Dutch Oven) on Tuesday Nov 7 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm for “an informal conversation”. No specific subject and no presentation. Does not mention Strategic Plan. Also on Adam’s and Aaron’s Facebook pages.