Strategic Plan for 2022-2026

Council is planning a different way to create the 2022 – 2026 Strategic Plan.  The previous plan was done by Councillors in an open session and guided by a facilitator, Carolyn Kearns. The 1½ day session in February 2019, ended up with a draft that was then opened up for public comment – and there was plenty of that.  The current budget includes $20K for preparation of the plan although Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty wanted to save this by having staff do the work.  Mayor Lucas Cleveland said that $20K was too little. Others disagreed and the budget ended up with $20K included.  Apparently lost in the debate was the choice of how to create a Strategic Plan. It seems that it has been decided to do it differently.

Creating the 2022 – 2026 Strategic Plan

On 31 March 2023, the Town issued an RFQ asking for a Quote on creating a Strategic Plan – perhaps hoping it would be possible at $20K.  This is not a request for a facilitator, but instead a request for someone to create the plan. Bids closed on 25 April but there is no word whether any satisfactory bids – or even any bids – were received.  A request to staff for comment was not answered as of publication.  [Next sentence revised 10 May] As of publication web page had not been updated but the RFQ notification was removed 10 May and no tender opening for it was listed.

A copy of the tender document is available in resources below.

Summary of RFQ Requirements

  • Carry out an examination of matters relating to the future success of the Town.
  • Coordinate and facilitate a consultation process which includes input from Council, staff, residents and key stakeholders. This could include meetings with key stakeholders and public open house(s) and would include consultation sessions with the Town Council and senior staff.
  • Present the draft Strategic Plan to Council and senior staff.
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify the Town’s strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.
  • Include
    • Updated Town Vision, Mission Statement, Values and Strategic goals.
    • Realistic, attainable key activities to achieve strategic vision and goals.
    • A list of strategic issues relevant to the Town.
    • Recommendation for key performance measurement tools to be used during implementation phase.
    • Communication and marketing strategies to be used during implementation phase.

There is no mention of a required timeline.

My guess is that this is more work than can be done for $20K.

Note that although the document is listed under RFQs (Request for Quote), it refers to itself as a Request for Proposal (RFP). It’s not clear what the difference is.


Without a Strategic Plan, the Council has no published direction or goals. One side effect is that the long list of unfinished business is not being addressed.


24 May 2023

At the Regular Council Meeting on 23 May, Council approved awarding a contract to Capital Park Consulting to “Facilitate the Council’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan”.  The original response of Capital Park was for a scope of work that would cost $39K but upon request, they modified the scope so that the price was $26K.  The budget was $20K but the award was made for $26K.  The scope then becomes closer to what was done to create previous strategic plans with no “stakeholder consultation”.

The timeframes are then:

  • The reduced scope of work allows us to move up the delivery date for the Draft Strategic Plan and Final Report to the week of July 24, 2023.
  • The final version of the Strategic Plan will be delivered the week of August 28, 2023.

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1 year ago

If most of the high priority items from the previous SP were not met, I’d like to know why. Shouldn’t staff and council hold a retrospective to establish what went well and not so we’ll when executing on the SP?

If there is no accountability and a plan for change (ie. how can we improve and deliver a plan that is achievable) I’m not sure that a new SP will be any better then the previous one.

1 year ago

We don’t need a new Strategic Plan every four years. The proposed $20,000 could go to much better use funding outstanding matters sitting currently on the back burner. This Council needs to prioritized wise use of tax dollars and this isn’t obviously a wise use.

Cobourg taxpayer
1 year ago

Has anyone else completed the survey for the Economic Strategic plan? Did I misread or is there exactly one question? Sorry to be slightly off topic here, John.

John Draper
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
1 year ago

It’s a related topic (since it’s a strategic plan for the Town) but the Economic Strategic Plan is separate. I have a list of current surveys here: and yes, there is only one question because it’s phase 2

Doug Weldon
1 year ago

Strategic Plan? Probably that will generate a bunch of fancy ideas. What very seriously needs to be done FIRST in Cobourg is to fix some of the poor mundane work that has been messed up or not properly done over many years.
I live very near the D’Arcy St. railway crossing. Several people have died there in past years. I am surprised that we have not had a recent fatality for some time. Students walking to and from school are highly vulnerable. They are at risk every day as they walk to and from school.

The Gummow elementary school and the High School are both on the East side of D’Arcy St but the sidewalk on the East side of the street runs out just before the Rail Road Crossing. Stand around when the kids are walking and you will see gangs of 10 or 15 students. Suddenly someone will yell out”RUN” and every student streams across the street instantly. A total hazard !

The students are smart enough NOT to try to cross at the 4 way corner at D’Arcy St and University St . Cars on University can hardly get across because the traffic on D’Arcy does not slow down. Seventy and Eighty KM per hour is quite common at rush hour. Just ask the D’Arcy St. School Crossing Guide how fast the cars travel and how often someone, she or a kid almost gets hit.

A 4 Way Stop at D’Arcy St. and University Ave. would go a long way to improving safety. Cars and people would have a much safer/slowed down place to cross.The town works official tells me that can’t be done ! Why Not ??? That would eliminate the need for pedestrians to cross in the middle of the street. All houses after the RR are also on the East side ! Keep our kids safe !

I’ve also been told that the dead end sidewalk on the East side of D’Arcy can not be extended across the railway track as CN Rail won’t allow that! Another excuse??? That would eliminate the running across D’Arcy St. Funny that many other RR Crossings all across Canada have walkways on both sides !

We do not regard the safety of pedestrians at all, cars come first. There are other hazards around town with poor/sloppy infrastructure. This should be the towns #1 Priority and should be completed before any other issues are dealt with. I doubt that any strategic plan would even consider these hazards. All safety issues should be the 1st priority
Other similar and serious issues with traffic and pedestrians are expanding right now as housing grows quickly in the towns North East end.

Reply to  Doug Weldon
1 year ago

Instead of a brand new sidewalk you might want to consider a used one. There is a slightly used one on Abbott you are welcome to. I probably should not joke about Doug’s comment because, as he stated, there have been fatalities at the railway crossing. I do think this is a good example of how our current town staff functions. On Abbott many people did not want a sidewalk, there were no accidents, so no real danger, yet it was built. At a cost of about $200,000. The railway crossing on D’Arcy is clearly dangerous. The Transportation Master Plan may explain this decision. It also shows why blindly following Master Plans, or Strategic Plans, is not necessarily in the best interest of residents. Who really benefits from these plans? Town staff, for one, as they can simply follow the plan and not make any real decisions. It must be a depressing place to work when all you are really doing is following a plan created by consultants.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin
1 year ago

I hope they put Down Town Parking at the Top of the List if they ever think the
downtown will ever come back and survive & Thrive . Shop / business turn over is
fast and furious over the last 5 yrs
Locals prefer not to Lug their purchases blocks back to the car
fall in Pot Holes on Covert st or Second st lots only to find a Parking ticket
if they didn’t spend time a $20 Bucks for a Parking Tag

Reply to  Sandpiper
1 year ago

Can’t Aforrd to Shop Down Town anymore! Great Store’s BUT THE TOWN MAKES MORE REVENUE THAN A STORE OWNER MAKES? wether it BE METERS or TAXES?

Reply to  Sandpiper
1 year ago

Why would I shop downtown when I have to pay parking on the street. Covert is handy if you’re going to the banks. Other than that, I would shop in the mall or Walmart. For other items, I go to Peterborough or Oshawa Malls….FREE PARKING there!!

Dan R
Reply to  Liz
1 year ago

The DBIA was paying something like 25k/year to the town in exchange for free parking downtown, and then couldn’t continue to afford it. Maybe on account of the fact that there were probably 30 vacant storefronts on King Street at the time they put the meters back in.

1 year ago

Too much time making the “Plan”… Leads to no time for “Action”.

Cobourg taxpayer
1 year ago

How about Council take a look at the 2019 Strategic Plan, check off what was completed and figure out which of the other pie in the sky statements are worth pursuing and how much it will cost. Maybe someone can do that for $20000. No need to reinvent the wheel and come up with more lofty goals. I believe nearly everything was covered in 2019 now figure out what is attainable.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cobourg taxpayer
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
1 year ago

It is pathetic that we’ve elected a Council so out of touch with reality that they have to hire a consultant to tell them what matters.

1 year ago

Download the previous SP and one will find that the previous Council failed to achieve most of its #1 goals. Let’s hope the new guy can do better!

Reply to  ben
1 year ago

By ‘new guy’ … If you mean the Mayor, that will be a difficult task since this Council doesn’t seem to play nice in their sandbox with the newbies.

Reply to  Kathleen
1 year ago

You Hit that Nail on the Head for sure
Many years of ——- Might be uncovered
by the Newbies

Reply to  Sandpiper
1 year ago

Newbies SMART?

Reply to  Kathleen
1 year ago

From what I have heard his much-vaunted leadership style – you know the one that he said he had and ran on in the election consists of telling the councillors, “We have a team here and you better get in it!”

Authoritarianism is no way to lead!