City council will meet next week to begin the process of determining their strategic plan for the next four years.
The Jan. 8 meeting will be led by Dr. Chris Bart, former professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business.
“He is an authority on organizational mission and vision statements, the roles and responsibilities of corporate directors and the strategic governance of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations,” says a staff report on the meeting. “Among other accomplishments, he has assisted a variety of municipalities with the development of their strategic plan.”
The report also includes a list of “potential issues and opportunities that could form a basis for council’s strategic plan discussions.”
City council followed a similar process after the 2014 election, culminating in an August 2014 meeting that set the stage for the big projects process. That saw council get behind the Place des Arts, a new arena, convention centre and art gallery/library.
The Places des Arts is under construction downtown, while the arena is mired in a legal fight over council's decision to twin it with a new casino on The Kingsway.
The art gallery, library and convention centre are supposed to be built on property vacated by the arena.
The Jan. 8 meeting will focus on several big areas, including infrastructure projects that encourage economic development; planning for climate change and addressing protection of water; attracting new businesses and developing skilled labour; ensuring the city is welcoming to newcomers, as well as supporting the city's vulnerable residents; and, improving communication and relationships with the public.
After the Jan. 8 session, Bart will survey each councillor about their top priorities for the coming term. That information will be the basis of a two-day meeting in March “where choices about strategic directions and actions will take shape,” the report said.
A draft version of the strategic plan will be released in April, with an eye on approving the final version by June 25.
Read the full report here.