Submitted by Jason Gariepy, Village of Thorsby
Following the municipal by-election on June 5th and throughout most of July, the Village of Thorsby Council has been busy working on setting goals and priorities for its 2014-17 Strategic Plan. The plan is the single most important document in the municipality as it influences budgeting, human resources, and operational activities. “It is the blueprint for where Council wants to see the municipality move towards,” says Thorsby Mayor Barry Rasch.
The 53-page Strategic Plan includes a ranking of strategic priorities. While Council created a list of several goals and strategies, it narrowed the list to a series of specific projects and initiatives, including:
• Market the water treatment plant to municipalities, companies, and individuals.
• Set and maintain a predictable tax rate for Village taxpayers.
• Ensure the Village’s cost-share agreements with Leduc County are current.
• Maintain an ongoing list of priority capital, operating, and governance projects that gets reviewed regularly.
• Take a more active role in regional issues.
• Maintain a high profile of Village activities in local media.
• Encourage the Village to engage in professional development each year.
• Provide excellent value for tax dollars spent.
• Evaluate the business case for the future of the Community Hall.
• Ensure that streets and roads are maintained in good repair.
• Maintain deep infrastructure (water and sewer).
• Investigate the advantages of requesting the Province grant Town status to Thorsby.
Council will receive quarterly updates on the status the various strategic priorities. Administration will spend time ensuring priorities are reflected in operational activities and the budget for 2015. “We have several more strategic priorities we would like to achieve that residents may not see on our list,” says Mayor Rasch. “The list simply identifies our top goals. Once goals are achieved, new ones will be added. And, if an opportunity or challenge is presented, we can adjust our priorities,” he says.
Each plan has a performance measurement attached to a specific goal. This is critical to helping Council measure whether or not the organization has been successful at achieving its strategies. The plan is available on the Thorsby website at www.thorsby.ca.