Wednesday, February 17, 2021 – Council met to check-in, discuss, and refresh the 2019–2022 Strategic Plan through two workshops on January 18th and February 2nd. The revised Strategic Priorities Chart was presented by Chief Administrative Officer, Norm McInnis, at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday.
“Our strategic plan is a roadmap to achieve the identified goals and objectives through individual projects and initiatives,” said Mayor Maja Tait. “The plan is monitored regularly, and after this latest refresh, we are pleased to report on the progress made and our direction for the coming months.”
Setting out with a vision to be an inclusive, healthy, and self-sufficient community where the rainforest meets the sea, Council’s strategic planning reflects action items that deliver on three key goals:
- Build a reputable organization;
- Demonstrate leadership in climate action and;
- Manage long-term growth while enhancing community identity, vitality, and safety.
The action items to deliver on these goals are recognized by the progress made over the last 12-months, and going forward include Now Actions (which should see implementation within a 6-month timeline) and Next Actions (implementation within a 12-month timeline). In addition, operational items highlight some of the ongoing work of staff and advocacy items highlight some of the ongoing work of Council.
Quarterly updates on the strategic plan are discussed at a Regular Council Meeting. Citizens can expect subsequent Strategic Plan Reporting shared through the District website in April, July, October and January.
- Fill vacant/new positions:
- Parks Worker 1, Christina Handy (seasonal), March 16, 2020
- Wastewater Operator II, Andrew McNeill (promoted to Wastewater Operator III, August 5, 2020), May 4, 2020
- Manager of Parks and Environmental Services, Laura Hooper, August 4, 2020
- Planning and Development General Support Clerk, Sarah Monaghan-Covacic, August 4, 2020
- Wastewater Operator III, Andrew McNeill, August 5, 2020
- Planner I, Katherine (Kasha) Janota-Bzowska, August 17, 2020
- Parks and Environmental Services Coordinator, Jessica Boquist, September 8, 2020
- Deputy Director of Financial Services, Angel Chen, September 21, 2020
- Communications Coordinator, Christina Moog, September 21, 2020
- Wastewater Operator, Bri Hardcastle, October 5, 2020
- Head of Information Technology, Ryan Reinsch, October 5, 2020
- Parks Operations Lead Hand, Angela Sinclair, October 19, 2020
- Manager of Wastewater, Paul Bohemier, October 19, 2020
- Wastewater Operator III, Koltan Lee, November 2, 2020
- General Support Clerk/Receptionist, Thomasina Barnes, December 7, 2020
- Records Management Clerk, Christopher Hinz, January 11, 2021
- Develop a communication strategy, completed (internal document). Residents will notice increased communications through the District website and Twitter channel, a new electronic newsletter and the option to subscribe to preferred mailing lists, and a new print newsletter, The Sooke Spotlight, delivered by Canada Post quarterly, among other initiatives.
- Annual five-year financial planning progress in early fall, learn more about budget planning and watch recordings of the 2021 Budget Open House – here.
Now & Next Action
- Enhance communication with the community including capital project reporting updates
- Improve corporate culture, optimizing internal and external service excellence
- A solid waste management strategy is being developed from Council’s direction at the December 7, 2020 Committee of the Whole: Operations Department will develop a proposed service delivery for large-item recyclables, a yard waste drop-off facility, and disposal of hazardous materials.
- Development of Open-Air burning bylaw/regulations. A report to Council was included on the November 16 Committee of the Whole agenda. Bylaw 292, 2007 will be amended and will return to Council for the required readings and adoption (specific meeting date: tbd)
- Step code inclusion brought to Council on November 23, 2020 and returned to Council on January 25, 2021. The Bylaw is being amended to align with Energy Step Code compliance mandated by the Province.
Now & Next Action
- Climate Change adaptation and mitigation is being developed through the Climate Action Committee.
- Climate Change adaptation and mitigation is becoming institutionalized into work processes at the District of Sooke, evidenced by the development and implementation of the Transportation Master Plan.
- Sidewalk strategy within the Transportation Master Plan and further supported within the Parks & Trails Master Plan requires ongoing implementation. Highlights in this area include:
- Sidewalk installation from Otter Point Road to Ed Macgregor Park
- Church Road Corridor Project
- Grant submitted for the Otter Point Road Corridor Active Transportation Project
- EV Charger installation at Eustace is scheduled for 2021
- Service agreement review – Finance Department continuing to work with Service Organizations to ensure that meaningful reporting to the District is received. The Community Grant Program is open for 2021 with an application deadline of March 15, 2021. A framework for reporting and templates for information required by the District has been developed. Finance is continuing to work with Service Organizations to ensure that meaningful reporting to the District is received.
- Community economic development committee formed, the first meeting took place on January 22, 2021
- Land use & development committee call for applications closed February 2, 2021. Committee recommendations will be determined in the coming weeks.
- Lot A Development – The Sooke Library is under development by the Vancouver Island Regional Library with occupancy anticipated before the end of 2021. the District of Sooke and the Sooke Region Communities Health Network are working under a memorandum of understanding to develop the northeast quadrant of Lot A with a seniors/youth centre and up to 75 residential units for seniors. The southwest quadrant is reserved for a Town Centre park as identified in the Parks and Trails Master Plan. The remaining land on the northwest quadrant is identified in the Lot A Charrette report as a multi-use professional building providing services such as medical, community health and wellness.
- Development process review (applications, bylaws, and policies) is ongoing and will be enhanced with the hiring of a Lead Engineering Technologist. Screening for this position is underway.
- Off-Leash Dog Park is included in the 2021 budget. Staff are completing preliminary planning to determine the scope of amenities for phase one of the project and will be working with the Sooke Community Association and neighbours to bring the park to fruition this year. The public consultation will take place in the spring to ensure amenities are prioritized based on community preference and any concerns can be mitigated during the design phase.
- Consultation with the public on John Phillips Memorial Park will take place into spring 2021
- Develop a community economic development strategy with the hiring of a Community Economic Development Officer and through the Community Economic Development Committee
- Complete an inventory of secondary suites
- Post-COVID planning
- Lot A development
Council-led advocacy works on behalf of residents and with staff to access resources and make changes for the betterment of citizens. Current advocacy work includes:
- Wastewater & Transportation Master Plan grant opportunities
- Enhanced transit service
- Little River crossing funding
- Regional health center
- Pesticide & rodenticide bans
- VIIMCU inclusion
- First Nation relationships
- Sooke Homeless Coalition
- Gas tax funding
- Municipal & Regional District Tax
- Community gateway revitalization
- Local Enhanced Roadside Assessment testing
- 911 Provincial cost download)
To learn more about 2019-2022 Council Strategic planning into ongoing operational items of priority, please visit the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan page of our website.
Progress in pictures, a sampling of the progress in action in the District (click image to enlarge):
Christina Moog, Communications Coordinator
District of Sooke
Tel: 250.642.1634, ext. 678