Tudor and Cashel hold special meeting on strategic plan

Tudor and Cashel Township had a special meeting on May 27 to discuss their draft Strategic Plan. Carey McMaster, founder of TRAICON and facilitator of the township’s Strategic Plan, and Flavian Pinto and Pat Stalleart, citizen members of the Strategic Plan Advisory committee, joined council for this meeting. They discussed the plan page by page, including the tag line for the township, whether or not to have the Land Acknowledgement included in the plan, whether to have a message from the either the mayor, CAO, or council, or all of the above, what the vision and mission statement should say, and much more. Councillor Elain Holloway and Councillor Jerry Chadwick, chair of the committee, comment on this special meeting.

At the May 27 special meeting, council went through the draft Strategic Plan. The chair of the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee, Chadwick suggested going page by page, with feedback and questions from council. This process was further aided by the fact that all but one of the members of the committee were present at this meeting.
“I think we should use it as an opportunity to go through it fairly quickly page by page and ask questions, particularly directed through Carey [McMaster] or other members of the committee. I don’t want to get into a wordsmithing war, as I don’t think that’s going to be valuable. What the committee will do is take any direction from council and then rework [the draft plan] one more time and bring back the final product to council,” he says.

Mayor Dave Hederson and the rest of council agreed with this approach and proceeded to go through the draft plan page by page, making suggestions, comments and asking questions to clarify verbiage. They looked at things like the tag line for the township, what exactly that might be and when and how to get it done, and when to have a contest so residents could participate in coming up with the tagline. Hederson brought up the land acknowledgment and whether to leave it in or take it out, and the consensus was to leave it in. They discussed whether to have a message from Mayor Dave Hederson, CAO Nancy Carrol, the council or all of them included in the plan, the precise verbiage to be included for the mission and vision statements, the “our community” page, the demographics of the township, the results of the citizens’ survey that was circulated to help inform the plan, the public services they provide, the process by which they created the plan, action items, the four strategic pillars (municipal infrastructure, quality of life and well-being, governance and finance, and economic development and technology), which through discussion they winnowed down to three (by putting economic development and technology in with quality of life and well-being). It was a fulsome discussion and many changes and tweaks suggested by council will be considered by the committee when they meet up again to have another look at the plan on June 13 and come up with the final version of it.

McMaster, who’s helping to facilitate the creation of the Strategic Plan, is a business development and growth specialist who works with entrepreneurs, not for profits and municipalities in many capacities. She founded TRAICON 20 years ago and has been working in this capacity ever since. For more information on McMaster, her credentials and TRAICON, go to www.traicon.ca.

Township councils like Tudor and Cashel are able to define their vision for the future and identify their goals and objectives through a municipal strategic plan. The process includes establishing the sequence in which these goals should be realized so that the municipality can reach its stated vision. Tudor and Cashel last did a five-year Strategic Plan “living document” back in 2019, where they set out their goals, their accomplishments from 2010 to 2018 and next steps. It is now being redone for this year. It can be found on the Tudor and Cashel Township website at www.tudorandcashel.com.

At their Dec. 5 committee of the whole meeting, McMaster presented a delegation to council on the process of developing a Strategic Plan for Tudor and Cashel. She submitted a proposal for council’s consideration and during the December council meeting, council voted to establish an ad hoc committee to assist in the development of this Strategic Plan. During their meeting on Jan. 9, Tudor and Cashel Township council approved the proposal from McMaster to facilitate their Strategic Plan. She returned in February to the township’s Strategic Planning Advisory Committee to discuss the documents they’d amassed for the Strategic Plan, the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses they’d gotten back, the verbiage for the citizen’s survey and when to send it out and expect it back, and when to get together next to start putting together the Strategic Plan.

Over the past couple of months, the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee met a half dozen more times, including the initial meeting of council to set the committee guidelines and select McMaster as the facilitator and a full day session. The results of those meetings were brought back to council for the May 27 special meeting and the results of the discussions from this meeting will be deliberated by the committee at their June 13 meeting. They’ll bring forward a final draft of the Strategic Plan at the next council meeting. The committee will also discuss the timeline for announcing the winners of the citizens’ survey at this June meeting.

Hederson thanked everyone for their efforts and the incredible amount of work that’s gone into the draft Strategic Plan up to this point and the work to come.
“I thought the citizens’ survey was very interesting. I think we have the basis of a really good Strategic Plan here. We’ll send this back to the committee for another kick at the can and they’ll bring it back to council,” he says.

Holloway told The Bancroft Times on June 4 that establishing a long-term plan for the future of the township has been on council’s agenda since taking office back in 2022.
“I believe we made the correct decision encouraging the residents of Tudor and Cashel Township to share their vision by engaging them in the process. The presentation of the Strategic Plan was preliminary. Council had the opportunity to review the findings put forth by the Strategic Planning Committee and TRAICON’s Carey McMaster with some interesting insights to who we are and where to prioritize resources and energy for the future sustainability of the township,” she says. “It was a positive and fundamentally important process that will assist us in establishing a sequence in realizing the goals set forth and creating a framework by which future councils can build upon.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times