Creating a podcast to tout district initiatives, exploring a new hotel tax to fund tourism marketing and developing a 20-year plan for road repairs are among the more notable initiatives contained in Summerland council’s new strategic priorities.
The priorities, which elected officials determined in workshops with staff, were revealed at Monday’s council meeting.
All of the priorities are grouped under four themes: protect and enhance core infrastructure and essential services; provide good governance; provide an adaptable and affordable community; enhance the community’s quality of life.
Under each of the priorities are a series of actions, 25 in total, that council has identified as key projects to advance them.
“Some of them remain similar or the same as previous priorities, but there have been significant changes and a lot of new and renewed focus on key areas,” said Graham Statt, the district’s chief administrative officer.
“This is very helpful to staff as we begin to formulate our own performance plans and start to structure the timeline and effort over the next four years…. The whole organization will pivot to these priorities.”
Coun. Janet Peake said elected officials’ priorities are meant to reflect the public’s own priorities.
“I think council has really listened to the things through the election process that the public have spoken to us about, and this will be one of the first times that we’re able to show them that we understand that feedback and are ready to act on it,” said Peake.
Besides pursuing the podcast, hotel tax and roads plan, other notable projects to which council has committed include to developing a watershed protection plan, reviewing development cost charges, creating a staff retention strategy, and continuing to move forward on an eco-village and food hub.