On November 7, 2011 Council unanimously approved Burlington, Our Future. Now the real work begins managing our priorities and executing our action plans.
I believe that the Strategic Plan will help us to continue to develop the City our residents of today and tomorrow want.
Certainly a change that the community will see is in how Council and Staff operate. Council and Staff have established several important actions as part of the Strategic Planning Process.
- The Strategic action plans are currently being mapped out in a delivery order, outlining what we expect to get done annually.
- Council will conduct regular Strategic Plan review meetings which will allow us to look at how we are doing overall and where we stand against the specific objectives.
- An Annual Report will be updated and provided to the Public giving residents a clear picture of how we are doing against the plan.
The regular reviews will also allow Council to sometimes re-prioritize, change some plans if the results are not what we all expect, or to capitalize on an opportunity that presents itself. This will all become a much more transparent process.
The new Strategic Plan is much more focused than previous plans and has far fewer initiatives. Staff is currently working on implementation plans and will report to Council in December. We are all eager to review this report and get started.
I indicated previously that I was scheduling Ward Tours with members of Council. This gives us a chance to spend a good part of the day together, visiting the Ward, speaking with residents, and getting a firsthand look at the issues on the street.
Over the last month I had the opportunity to spend time with Councillor Craven in Ward 1 and Councillor Sharman in Ward 5. It was great to visit Ward 5, the Ward I represented last term, and to see the continuing improvements.
The visit to Ward 1 was very informative. In fact I have encouraged other members of Council to take the time to visit with Councillor Craven. The Plain’s Road Vision and the considerable development taking place and planned for in Aldershot is really significant. With all this change it certainly seems to me that the community is engaged in creating a thriving, might I say vibrant, community in our west end.
I have a tour scheduled shortly with Councillor Meed Ward and hope to have a tour with Councillor Dennison as well.
I believe we have all found the Ward Tours productive and I hope we will continue to do this on a regular basis.
The Burlington Performing Arts Centre
The Centre opened in October. I was thrilled to hand the ceremonial Key over to Alan Pearson on October 23, 2011 as the Board took over operation of the facility. About 1700 residents attended the Open House event on October 23rd. A series of additional Open Houses were held in October to give the public an opportunity to walk through this wonderful theatre.
Between now and year-end, there are over fifteen events. I encourage you to visit The Centre’s website for a look at the many scheduled performances available: http://www.burlingtonpac.ca/.
There are a number of initiatives under way that you may want to be aware of:
- A Downtown Task Force has been started and is well underway. The objective is to review and update our Core Commitment – the Downtown Vision and to identify what we have to do to get back on track with our Downtown development.
- We are just starting work on a Beachway Master Plan. The Beachway is the area along the waterfront running south from Lakeshore Road to the lift bridge. This work includes regional and Conservation Halton representation. The public is also encouraged to participate.
- A Transit Master Plan is also in process. Our transit services are critical to our long term success. Please take the time to review how we are doing on this and if you can, participate.
- An important part of the discussion during last year’s election centered on Public Engagement. I am pleased to advise you that Christine Iamonaco has joined the City as our Public Involvement Coordinator. We look forward to the work that Christine will be doing and are especially looking forward to the development of the Engagement Charter.
- Council is currently interviewing candidates for City Manager. We expect to complete the interview process in this year and have a new City Manager in place early in the 2012.
- Fire Station # 8 will be officially opened on November 18 (near Appleby Line and Upper Middle Road).
- Groundbreaking took place in the Alton Community as construction began on the Library/High School/Community Centre Project.
- Council approved the King Road grade separation project. This is a unique project and the City was successful in having CN pay the majority of the cost. The rail line through Burlington is one of the busiest in Canada and this improvement will assist in the development of lands in Aldershot.
- I also wanted to assure everyone that we are ready to go with snow removal services. Staff provided Council with an overview on preparation last month and all is set and ready.
Upcoming Events and Activities
I will be hosting the next Inspire Burlington Speaker Event at 7 p.m. on November 23 at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Studio Theatre. This will be the first event at this location. The speaker will be André Picard – and the topic will be The Future of Healthcare. André is the well respected Globe and Mail healthcare journalist and the evening should be very interesting for those concerned about healthcare in Ontario. The seating is limited and filling up quickly so if you plan to attend, please register today.
On November 30 at 6:00 pm at Central Public Library, BurlingtonGreen will host their Annual General Meeting which is open to the public. I will be speaking at that event – providing an update on the City’s Community Energy Strategic Plan Initiative.
BEDC Economic Forecast Breakfast
On Thursday, December 1, the second Economic Forecast Breakfast will be presented by the Burlington Economic Development Corporation. Craig Wright, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economists at RBC will provide an informative look into 2012. Registration is available on the BEDC website.