After receiving feedback from roughly 1,150 people, almost 10 per cent of the City of Wetaskiwin’s population, the City of Wetaskiwin has released Wetaskiwin’s 50-year Community Vision results.
The #Wetaskiwin2070 community visioning initiative was undertaken between September 2020 and February 2021.
“I am so encouraged to see the number of people in our community who took part in helping shape our future,” stated City of Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam. “Without this vision of where we would like to be in 50 years, it’s hard to know what we need to do today to get us there. As we work together in our City, we will build a community we’re proud to call home.”
The comprehensive community vision was divided into five core pillars.
1. Make safety a priority
City of Wetaskiwin residents rated Wetaskiwin’s crime rate as the most important issue to be addressed.
“Additionally, isolated, media-hyped events in recent years have also skewed external notions of our city as a dangerous place to visit,” the city states.
2. Ensure financial stability
One of the core pillars of the community visioning results is ensuring financial stability for the City of Wetaskiwin, from provincial funding caps and regulatory changes to home-grown issues such as low growth and high tax rates and other financial challenges. The city says there is a need to be increasingly resourceful in pursuing new opportunities as well as stewarding fiscal policies.
3. Support business growth
“The Vision acknowledges that there are abundant opportunities for development, employment, open spaces, cultural attractions, and vibrant streets in the heart of our community. It is also apparent that we have some work to do,” says the city.
4. Unite the community
Feedback from Wetaskiwin residents shows a want for the community to leave divisive mindsets behind, created from generational bias and ingrained fear of those who are different, and to create a more welcoming, diverse and accepting community for the future Wetaskiwin.
5. Commit to the Vision
“With the City’s pervasive social issues and lack of growth, the community feels discouraged. It will take time and effort to regain the trust of the community and work together to implement vision-aligned initiatives,” states the city. “An unwavering commitment to the Vision is essential to this effort.”
The City states that community values are an important component of achieving the vision. The visioning results show that the Wetaskiwin community value respect for their neighbours, relationship with the land, diversity and inclusivity, connecting through arts and culture, and many generations of history.
“Your values and priorities for a better future were foundational in creating this 50-Year Vision,” said City Manager Sue Howard. “The City of Wetaskiwin is committing to using this community-built Vision to guide strategic planning and decision making.”
City personnel have crafted an internal roadmap to help determine which city processes need to be changed to align with the community’s 50-year vision. This is to ensure the city’s unwavering commitment to the community’s long-term vision.
Each city employee will also be required to sign a community vision pledge stating they will keep the vision in mind daily as they serve the Wetaskiwin community.