By Mark Squibb
September 29, 2023 Edition
Paradise council last week unanimously adopted ‘Your Paradise Plan 2027,’ a five-year strategic plan to govern councils’ decision making over the next five years.
Councillor Elizabeth Laurie called the motion a very exciting one.
“The proposal submitted by the consultant included a multi-faceted approach to understanding the state of the community, a rigorous approach considering a path to the future, with a more robust way of charting the way forward, and a process built upon extraordinary collaboration,” said Laurie. “The entire process leveraged the knowledge of us here on council, and of course our staff and members of our community, to ensure that the priorities of the strategic plan were reflective of our town.”
The plan is to be used as a roadmap guiding council’s priorities.
“Having a strategic plan is incredibly important because it helps the Town find a balance when dealing with many difficult issues, while having limited resources,” said Laurie. “With so many issues needing attention, such as improving infrastructure, providing services, and ensuring a fiscally responsible approach to local government, deciding where to start can certainly be challenging. The strategic plan acts like a compass guiding us here on council.”
The plan has what is listed as five strategic pillars — infrastructure, economic growth, social and cultural health, environmental stewardship, and governance and engagement. Those pillars are the same as the pillars identified in the previous plan, ‘Your Paradise 2022,’ with the notable exception that ‘regional cooperation’ is no longer being considered as one of the pillars. Laurie did however allow that “an understanding that ongoing efforts with regional and provincial bodies will be necessary for continued progress on some of the most important issues that face Paradise,” underlines the framework of the whole plan.
Some of the issues requiring cooperation with regional or provincial bodies, said Laurie, include the need for a new high school, better road access to-and-from Paradise, and research into the feasibility of a swimming pool.
The plan contains 18 “action items,” items that Laurie said will contribute to the Town’s overall goals and objectives.
Each councillor took a few minutes to speak about the plan, noting the effort that went into creating it, their excitement to see it adopted, and the importance of having such a plan in place.
The contract for the plan was awarded last December to Intelligent Futures Inc., in the amount of $59,596, HST included. Rather than go to tender, council approached experienced consulting firms, requesting comprehensive proposals to prove their respective ability to execute the project.
Council approved the finished product last Tuesday, but it won’t be available for public consumption just yet. Communications staff said staff need to prepare a final layout document before the report is released publicly.