Mission council has created its four-year strategic plan, which defines goals for the current term in office.
Mayor Pam Alexis said establishing goals helps focus the council.
“Council is inundated with the day-to-day business of running the district. If we don’t have some goals in mind then you get completely swamped and you can’t get very far, because you are dealing with the present. It’s up to council to always look into the future so we can be better, so we have something to work towards,” explained Alexis.
In the report to council, six strategic focus areas were identified. These are areas the council considers priorities for the near and longer term.
One main focus is to plan for impending growth.
“We know that growth is absolutely inevitable. It is where we are going. It’s not about that. It’s about the impact of growth and how we can better position ourselves to deal with that,” said Alexis.
She said local jobs are key.
“We really have to have more jobs in place for this growth that’s coming because if we don’t have more locally sourced jobs then our community will continue to leave every single day, which doesn’t build community.”
She also feels that council has to ensure that children are taken care of so that “mom and dad aren’t on the road 12 hours a day.”
“It’s twofold. We need to get those jobs so we can rely less on our residents for taxes and we want to create better lifestyles for those families and encourage parents to spend more time with family.”
The strategies and goals listed in the report include:
Priority actions: Develop and implement a Traffic Safety Strategy; work in collaboration with the RCMP to set policing priorities that address current local crime trends and public safety issues; continue to enhance the Fire Master Plan that identifies the risks facing the community and implement recommendations of the auditor general for local government’s audit of the district’s Emergency Management Program
Goals: The goal is to ensure all residents feel and are safe in Mission and to provide safe roads for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
Secure Finances, Assets and Infrastructure:
Priority actions: To develop an implementation plan for the Facilities Master Plan; review building permit and business licensing programs; develop engineering master plans for long-term infrastructure planning (water, sewer, drainage) and to advocate for several projects including the expansion of West Coast Express, acquire senior government financial and regulatory support for Fraser River Sanitary Sewer Crossing and animate the experience, stewardship and remediation of buildings downtown including a possible truck bypass, and more.
Goals: To ensure sound financial management of the district, to ensure resources are available when needed and to ensure well planned, maintained and financed public infrastructure.
Bold Economic Development:
Priority actions: Waterfront Development – undertake waterfront pre-development planning, develop a roadmap and preliminary business case (feasibility assessment) for waterfront planning; prepare an industrial land and economic development strategy and implementation of tourism strategy and operational plan.
Goals: To be attractive to business investment and to diversify the tax base to reduce reliance on residential taxes.
Livable Complete Community
Priority actions: Attract and incentivize affordable housing, housing options and treatment facilities; expand recreation space for all ages; build seniors housing and community centre; advocate for free parking at Mission Memorial Hospital; implement and support RCMP Mission Active Support Table; implement secondary suite program and undertake neighbourhood planning – Cedar Valley, Southwest Mission, Parr to Prentis Ave areas in the short term and the waterfront and Ferndale area in the long term.
Goals: To develop distinct neighbourhoods and a livable community, to be an attractive community for living, working and playing and to the greatest extent possible meet the social, cultural and physical needs of the community.
Priority actions: Undertake a process to develop a new image/brand for the District of Mission including undertaking a branding exercise and consideration of renaming the district a city; develop and implement a community engagement and communications policy including improved engagement with the South Asian community.
Goals: To have well-informed citizens, to engage citizens and to hear from them, to have citizens engage in aspects of community life that interest and impact them and continue to work with partners for the benefit of the community.
Priority actions: Develop and implement an Enterprise Application Systems Strategy; develop and implement a Corporate Enterprise Risk Management Strategy and initiate a Development Liaison Committee.
Goals: To provide effective and efficient services, to be a high-performing professional organization, to attract highly qualified high performing staff, ensure administrative fairness and transparency in district processes and to strive for continuous improvement.
“We have systems that can’t talk to other systems within city hall. Our software is very much behind. We have to strengthen all of our processes in regards to development … need to improve all of our processes in every department,” said Alexis.
Coun. Carol Hamilton said now that the document is done, she is looking forward to the next step which is the how staff can help them achieve those goals.
“This is what we want to achieve in our term, now help us get here,” Hamilton said.