SPEAKING NOTES – MAYOR AL MCDONALD

~ MAY 26, 2016 ~

Welcome everyone and thank you for taking time to join me and my Council colleagues for this media event. Today we are making 2 announcements which I will explain further on.

We started planning in September and have been working together for 5 months now to determine the strategic framework for Council for the next 10 years, based on our collective years of experience, expertise, and by listening to you.  I extend my appreciation to all of Council for their leadership, willingness to work hard, and unity. Council, along with senior staff held 5 planning meetings geared to define Council’s strategic priorities to move forward with the development of this Strategic Framework. 

By working together, and by listening, we have been able to develop a framework that will allow us to make North Bay a better place to live... an even greater city than it is today.                             

City Council has listened to the community’s call for a common vision and a future path forward and, today, I am pleased to stand with my colleagues to share the work we have done since January and introduce North Bay City Council’s Strategic   Framework.

A key theme arising from our sessions was the need to be “united” not only as a Council, but also as a community.  Subsequently, one of our defined objectives is the requirement to have a Collaborative Environment with a common vision which fosters the creation of a community with a positive environment that instills pride and confidence, as well as supports a resilient diversified and inclusive economy.

It gives me great pleasure to be here today with Council to release and talk about North Bay City Council’s Strategic Framework.

(SHOW PLAN ON SCREEN)

  • UNITED for an even greater North Bay is a theme that illustrates the need to work collectively and collaboratively not only as a council, but also as a community in order to grow and diversify our community while striving to ensure North Bay is a place where there is engagement and vibrancy.
  • Our framework outlines values by which we expect the Corporation to live and work by
  • It’s all about:
    • Improving, growing and valuing our City and community.
    • Creating a positive environment that generates pride and confidence.
    • Having a united Council and staff.
    • Removing Barriers: Work with partners and stakeholders to identify and find solutions to removing barriers.
    • Improving communications: provide information to educate the community and to give a better understanding.
    • Developing, maintaining and leveraging effective partnerships & relationships.

 

This strategic framework focuses on three areas:

  • Growth and Development;
  • Vibrant, Active, Healthy and Safe Community; and,
  • Prudent Operation of the City.

These three areas broadly represent what Council believes we should focus on.  This Strategic Framework will be available online today.

That’s the first step!

The next step is to engage you, our community, for your feedback - to hear what you have to say about our future - and to help us build upon this framework so that, together, we can plan wisely and work towards our common vision of the future of North Bay, united as one.

  • We want to make sure that everyone has a chance to tell us how they would like to see our city develop. Community participation is a critical stage of the strategy so we will be using the services of an engagement specialist to plan and carry out the ways and means of gathering your input and then presenting us with that information so that we can continue to work on the strategy.  We will start seeking community input in September, for a 2-3 month process, which will include 10 town hall meetings to be schedule in the evening, during the day, and on a weekend because we know that people don’t just work 9-5 Monday to Friday. We want everyone to have the ability to engage in this process. We will reach out to stakeholders and groups in the community, for their input, community groups such as CBACH, Living fit, arts and culture groups, business groups like Invest North Bay, the Chamber of Commerce, Environment groups like Greening Nipissing, sports groups, leisure groups, education, our youth, just to name a few, and also our City Staff, the Agencies, Boards and Commissions. This has never been tried or done in our city but we are committed to the process. Over the summer, we will be developing a plan on how best to engage various interest groups and the public at large in order to get real input.  To assist us in this we will be engaging an engagement specialist. Councillor Maroosis, on behalf of all Council, will be bringing a Motion to Council this Monday to start the process.

Once all the information has been gathered, senior City staff will then develop the strategic plan to achieve the wishes of our community, to help us achieve the community’s vision.

I encourage and invite the community and stakeholders to work with us in developing a Community Strategy that will move us into the future, together.

In closing, we all want to make the city we love with all our hearts even better. Today is that start!  Thank you again for your time and interest.