Strategic Plan 2015-18 – CAO Report

In late 2014, shortly after the election of the new council, Council organized a public Strategic planning session to decide what should be done during their mandate. As that 2015 to 2018 term comes to a close, CAO Stephen Peacock has written a report on progress as of the end of 2017 and he presented it to Council at their C.O.W. meeting on March 14. 

Stephen Peacock - photo by Ted Amsden
Stephen Peacock – photo by Ted Amsden

Most objectives have either been met or are well under way to completion. Stephen gave some details and labelled actions as “Completed”, “Underway” or “Outstanding”. Some of the actions planned for this term are now promised for the next although some will be completed during 2018 – notably the report on the Waterfront.  He promised it would be online but that has not yet happened – it will be added to the Links below when it is available. In the original plan, there were five objectives but on Feb 8, 2017 Council did a “mid-term review” and added a sixth objective “Develop and Implement a Community Waterfront District plan”.  See links below for both the original and updated Strategic plans. Note that the updated plan includes the new waterfront objective but omits the communications objective. Stephen reports on both but uses a fresh set of actions for the Communications objective (#1). The sequence used here is per his report and the actions are generally per the updated plan.

Each action from the updated plan is listed below with Stephen’s comments.


Legend: Completed = green; Underway = orange; Outstanding = red

Objective 1: Ensure Open, Clear and Timely Communications

Actions Comments
Broadcasting open meetings of council You-Tube Channel now live Streams Council Meetings
Introducing Town-wide Intranet Completed
Award-winning redesigned municipal website Awarded gold for digital strategy, social media and website design
This is Cobourg Internal communication campaign Completed
Elections Campaign Better Branded multi-faceted campaign
Branded marketing collateral for various events and campaigns e.g. Visitor’s Guide

Objective 2: Support the Preservation and Enhancement of the Town’s Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage

Actions Comments
Complete building component of vitalization plan, CIP There are 16 improvement projects approved
Develop cultural masterplan Tenders received and steering committee being formed
Complete Cobourg heritage plan Plan implemented
Update Victoria Square Now construction ready and waiting for upper tier Government funding
Develop policies for support (including financial) of arts, culture and heritage New Community Grant process
Develop implementation plans for Parks Master Plan, CCC Campus plan, and recreation Strategic plan Plans complete and approved – will see in upcoming capital projects

Objective 3: Promote Diverse Economic Development Opportunities

Actions Comments
Complete business attraction for downtown “Start Here” Marketing Campaign underway – it’s hoped to roll this out shortly
Support four seasons tourism initiatives New tourism partner programs with County and Port Hope
Establish an economic development hub Venture 13 now open and operating
Update downtown parking strategy Coming up in new council

Objective 4: Manage Sustainable Growth and Development

Actions Comments
Receive OP approval and implement new zoning bylaw Going to hearing at end of May then closely followed by development of new zoning by-law
Develop sustainable Tannery District secondary plan Process well under way with final report ready for fall of 2018
Ensure town is adequately prepared for climate change A big ticket item: Major retention facility project underway with completion for fall of 2018. Major storm sewer capacity study underway with completion summer of 2018.

Objective 5: Improve Efficiencies and Effectiveness in Municipal Operations

Actions Comments
Develop an IT strategic plan To be completed by new council
Continue to Implement an Asset Management Plan Major work underway. Milestone presentation to Council for summer of 2018
Review and improve financial performance of CCC Major profitable events in n2017. Building alterations and staffing re-alignment to promote customer service and profits.
Implement new financial system for Town with more detailed financial reporting No status
Work collaboratively across municipal borders New fire dispatch with reduced response times, joint purchasing agreements, mile marker program.
Review potential to be more pro-active and less complaint driven By-law booklet created
Create multi year accessibility plan Completed but also ongoing
Review town budget setting process Budget setting process revised with communication plan.

Objective 6: Developing And Implementing a Community Waterfront District Plan

Actions Comments
Define the waterfront district Scope of work refined through public discussion.  Part of waterfront study.
Conduct extensive stakeholder sessions Extensive engagement process held with over 2000 surveys received. This is the most ever received on any one project.
Develop details waterfront designs For presentation to council June 2018
Develop cost estimates revenue opportunities and time frames for implementation For presentation to council June 2018
Prepare a Business Plan for Approval No status

Note in particular the items deferred for a new council or listed but with no status:

  • Update downtown parking strategy (deferred)
  • Develop an IT strategic plan (deferred) [IT is an acronym for “Information Technology” – that is: Computers]
  • Prepare a Waterfront Business Plan for approval – the draft report includes a detailed business plan for the Marina – but Stephen’s report was made before that was publicly known.
  • Implement new financial system for Town with more detailed financial reporting – no report – this was probably deferred pending an IT Strategic Plan.

This report should be online shortly – and when it is, will be included in the links below and this sentence edited.


Print Article: 


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

No progress at all on the most important objective…that of Finance System and Financial Reporting.

Let’s all get a photo op on this one as well… With a big “F” for failure behind your sad faces because you could not get the big one completed.

Reply to  cornbread
5 years ago

And if they can’t do this, they don’t deserve a raise.

Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

When all these plans are completed and in place, Cobourg can run on auto-pilot.