CAO report on Progress with Strategic Plan

Unlike many corporate five year plans which gather dust, Cobourg’s four year Strategic Plan is actively used to direct Staff.  Each staff memo to Council references the relevant action in the Strategic Plan and once a year the CAO is asked to provide an update on progress.  So at the next Committee of the Whole meeting (C.O.W. on January 25), CAO Tracey Vaughan will present the update for 2020 – that is, what got done in 2020 and what remains to be done.  See the links below for the full report – 21 pages – plus a cover memo complete with a summary.  This post will try to extract highlights – those items that I think are of most interest.

Overall, the plan includes objectives and actions, These are detailed in the report (see Links) and are summarized here:

  1. People: Assist citizens find attainable housing and help citizens to be happy and healthy
  2. Places: Promote Cobourg’s natural assets, heritage, arts, culture and tourism
  3. Partnerships: Develop Public-Private Partnerships
  4. Programs: Upgrade computer systems and enhance public engagement
  5. Prosperity: Promote Economic Development.

Overall Progress for these five Pillars is reported as follows:

  Complete In progress Not Started
People 43% 21% 36%
Places 57% 9% 34%
Partnerships 12% 13% 75%
Programs 37% 18% 45%
Prosperity 61% 7% 32%

Putting numbers on completion of actions has to be good by itself.  And a report on 2020 this close to the end of the year is also good – I don’t recall any progress reports on the Strategic Plan in previous years.  The nearest we got was a Work Plan created by outgoing CAO Stephen Peacock in August 2019.

Tracey’s Progress Report includes the plan’s actions and an indication of how much progress has been achieved since the plan was put in place in April 2019.


Pillar Strategic Action Completion
People Create a housing strategy that is in alignment with Northumberland’s housing strategy. [CIP Approved] 77%
Invest in programs, services and infrastructure to make Cobourg more accessible. 83%
Places Create a Climate Change Action Plan. [Update here] 100%
  Upon completion of Cultural Master Plan [It has been completed], consider creation of a Town of Cobourg Arts, Culture and Tourism Division. 50%
Repair and rejuvenate the East Pier. 40%
No expansion of boat slips at the Cobourg Marina will be considered and the natural environment of the West Harbour will be safeguarded and protected [A hot issue in last election]. 100%
Partnerships Continue to work with Sustainable Cobourg and other stakeholders on Cobourg green initiatives. 20%
Work with transit authorities in the area to integrate transit services, including accessible and active transportation services. [On-Demand Transit being explored] 0%
Facilitate meaningful collaboration with Cobourg citizens. [Engage Cobourg in place] 50%
Programs Develop an Information Technology Strategic Plan. 0%
Develop an Integrated Records Management System. 50%
Implement a comprehensive management plan for all assets. 50%
Explore enhanced sidewalk snow clearing including the clearing of arterial bike lanes and multi-use paths. 50%
Review and assess appropriateness of agreements with third party contracts. 100%
Continue to explore communication priorities including social media and public engagement tools. 66%
Prosperity Develop a policy for establishing shovel-ready development lands. 66%
Coordinate funding opportunities to optimize community development capital and special project funding opportunities. 66%
Review feasibility of expanding Northam Industrial Park. 50%
Review the mandate of the Economic Development Department. 100%

The above is extracted from the cover memo summary – sorry if my choices are not what your choices would be. There is more detail in the full report (see Link below) but the above plus other announcements suggest the following actions in 2021.

  • The full $250K budgeted for the Affordable Housing CIP will likely be allocated
  • The planned Organization review will likely result in an Arts, Culture and Tourism Division
  • The Harbour will get repaired but the East Pier rejuvenation is not certain
  • Engagement and collaboration with others will continue
  • There will be a focus on productivity improvements using computers plus communication with citizens using Social media
  • There will be more focus on Economic Development – maybe an Organization change and a new Economic Development Director?

But Tracey wants clear direction from Council so she is asking Council to approve the scheduling of a “mid-term Strategic Plan session for Council and Staff to review current priorities and deliverables”.  Council will receive her report and vote on her request at Monday’s C.O.W. meeting.


CAO documents re Strategic Plan Progress Report

Previous Posts about Strategic Plan

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3 years ago

Repair and rejuvenate the East Pier.40%
i am guessing 40% must be money spent on inspection?