‘Five stars and a constellation’ to guide Midland council's term

·3 min read

“We basically set ourselves five stars and a constellation, and that’s where we're navigating the good ship Midland,” said Mayor Bill Gordon.

His comments came during discussion regarding the Council’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan which was brought to the recent committee of the whole meeting for discussion.

With the new term of council from the October municipal elections, a four-year strategic plan was created to set down the priorities and overarching principles for decision-making in the municipality.

The five priorities listed in the document are: waterfront development, stabilization and streamlining service delivery, infrastructure management, enhancement of town safety and workplace culture as an employer of choice.

“These are high-level objectives; they’re not super-granular and these are meant to focus us, not to restrain us,” said Gordon during the meeting. “The idea is that staff reports that come to council, or council requests of staff, should align with one of these high-level goals so we’re not just listless going off all over the place.”

In creating the document, draft mission and draft vision statements were proposed arising from a two-day strategic planning session in late February.

The draft mission statement would look to deliver efficient and effective services while promoting growth and preserving Midland’s charm; the draft vision would have Midland continue as a prosperous community reflecting its cultural heritage and celebration of the beauty of Georgian Bay.

These items remained in draft format due to the anticipated hire of a new chief administrative officer in the coming months, who could bring their own knowledge, experience and approach to running the town.

“That's the constellation that we’ve all agreed upon after that day and a half of work – and it was a lot of work, and it was really well done facilitation-wise,” added Gordon. “These are the five points that came out of pages and pages of ideas.

“Everybody seemed super-aligned, and this document – as small as it is – boils it right down to the lowest common denominator.”

Council had been ready to approve the strategic plan at the start of the evening, but it was pulled for further consideration to be discussed in the committee of the whole portion; the plan is expected to return to the consent agenda on the next regular meeting of council.

During the discussion, Coun. Catherine MacDonald raised several concerns each of which was addressed within the report, and was further informed by acting CAO Andy Campbell that the report recommended bringing a “report card” back regularly and “maybe quarterly” to council.

“The thought was we’d bring a facilitator potentially back in halfway through the council term,” explained Campbell, “but before then we’d just work as staff and council towards these objectives because, as you can see, there’s $2 million worth of work here already without having $2 million worth of budget for.”

The Council 2022-2026 Strategic Plan report, objectives and action plan can be found on the council agenda on the Town of Midland website.

Council meetings are held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, and can be viewed on Rogers TV cable channel 53, or through the livestream on the Rogers TV website. Archives of council meetings are available through Rogers TV and on the Town of Midland’s YouTube channel.

Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca