What is the strategic plan for Pemberton moving forward?
That’s the question asked right off the top of the Village of Pemberton’s recently-released annual report, which will be officially presented to the public during Tuesday’s (June 19) council meeting.
Council has highlighted four main themes in report — economic vitality, good governance, excellence in service and social responsibility — that it will look to keep in mind when making future decisions.
Mayor Jordan Sturdy described the priorities as “four pillars” for the village to strive for but added that the strategic plan should be considered as a living document.
“These strategic plans are really more evolutionary than revolutionary,” said Sturdy. “To some degree, you’re amending it and updating it to reflect the needs and wants of council and the community.”
The report also contains all financial statements from 2011 and a detailed list of the projects completed, in process or on the village’s future work plan.
Sturdy noted that the four priorities listed in the report aren’t necessarily ranked in any particular order because they all work hand-in-hand.
“Economic vitality is clearly a top priority for the community, but it’s all a balance,” he said. “Without good governance, your economic vitality can wane. Providing the best services that we can within the scope of the resources we have speaks to both good governance as well as fiscal responsibility, and there’s always a social aspect to most things that we do.”
Coun. James Linklater said he’s pleased with the four priorities council has chosen to focus on and the direction it would like to go.
“We do recognize that times are tough and that our goals are somewhat lofty, but we believe this is the right direction for us to proceed, understanding there will be a lot of work involved to get there,” said Linklater. “That said, I’m confident with this group, along with the efforts of our great staff, and that positions us well moving forward.”
The annual report has been presented in a town hall-style meeting at the community centre in years past, but Sturdy cited declining attendance at the event as council voted on June 5 to instead make it a regular agenda item for Tuesday’s meeting.
Sturdy said the village is planning another town hall meeting on a specific topic, such as recreation, for sometime in the fall, but noted that council is willing to go back to the old format for the annual report if there is a big turnout from the electorate on Tuesday.
“If there’s tremendous interest and a need to expand that conversation, we absolutely will,” said Sturdy.
It’s now been about six months since the current council was sworn in and Sturdy said things have been going smoothly at the table in the early stages of his third term.
“Really, it’s been a consensus approach and I don’t believe there have been any split votes, 3 to 2,” said Sturdy, who was acclaimed to the mayor’s chair in November while Couns. Alan LeBlanc and Ted Craddock were re-elected. “There have been one or two dissenting votes on different issues, but I think a debate and dialogue is healthy.
“But we’re all generally moving together in the same direction and I’ve been quite happy with that.”
Linklater and Coun. Mike Richman are the two newcomers to council and Linklater said he thinks the group of five has been working well together thus far.
“I think Jordan, Ted and Al have been really good in terms of supporting Mike and I, bringing us up to speed (on) process and history,” said Linklater. “I think we all complement each other. We’re all different and don’t always agree on everything, but I think we’re all facing the right direction.”
The annual report can be viewed online at www.pemberton.ca. Tuesday’s meeting will likely lead off with the annual report starting at 7 p.m.