Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Bernie Morton presented a dynamic strategic vision for the Chestermere City Council to implement during the April 16 council meeting.
The strategic vision and organization realignment began with the council saying they wanted Chestermere to be a sustainable lake-side recreational community that is safe, family orientated, innovative, collaborative, accountable, connected, transparent, inclusive, and ethical.
“We want to pursue excellence, and we want to be amazing,” Morton said.
Morton added, the strategic plan which was given to council prior had five pillars, 13 goals, 40 strategies, 64 desired results and 48 pages with no resources or a budget.
“We have found considerable constraints in trying to fulfill these objectives,” Morton said.
“Pillars are silos. Silos create a silo mentality which keeps people apart. We don’t want to get too bogged down on the process, which equates to red tape, we want to focus heavily on the outcomes,” he added.
The Chestermere City Council had particular outcome goals in the government, economic, environmental, cultural and social sectors.
While bringing stability to utilities, being appropriately staffed, increasing the non-residential tax-base, protecting the lake as a significant recreational asset, ensuring infrastructure is sustainable, and focusing on future housing.
Common themes Morton and administration saw were to have a good quality of life in Chestermere, enhancing neighbourhoods, and fostering relationships within the community.
“Each of these should not be operating in isolation of each other, but collectively operating where one relies on the other,” Morton said.
Creating an amazing Chestermere is being smarter, being more efficient, understanding where the community is going to grow and what elements need to be put in place.
“A safe community is worth its weight in gold,” Morton said.
As an organization, the city needs to be flexible, action orientated, agile, and promote inclusivity and diversity.
“The original strategic plan is so regimented there is no ability for that type of agility,” Morton said.
The dynamic strategic vision can withstand the test of time, he added.
Morton has spent countless hours working on the Chestermere Utility Incorporated (CUI) file, and bringing stability to the organization.
“Stability starts with people and leadership,” Morton said.
“We need to understand the performance of staff, understand each other’s strengths, and where to make a change,” Morton said.
The city needs to ensure that the right people are in the right positions to have the best possible outcomes.
Staff need to understand what change will look like, and the direction of where the organization is going to go in order to operate at a high level, Morton said.
“When I look at the strategic vision it encompassed everything that seven very different people want to do,” said Chestermere City Councilor Michelle Young.
“We all came in with different strengths; we all have different weaknesses, but that document puts us all on the same path,” she added.