Saanich budget and strategic planning processes evolve
October 2, 2018
For immediate release
Saanich, BC – Council passed a motion October 1 to improve public engagement opportunities in the District of Saanich’s strategic and financial planning processes.
Dialogue Partners was hired in late spring 2018 to determine how Saanich residents want to participate in strategic and financial planning processes. More than 5,000 residents were involved via open houses, pop-up events, an online survey, social media polls, video views and in-person meetings throughout the summer.
“We appreciate the diverse input we received from citizens over the last several months, which helped us learn how people want to be involved in our processes,” said Director of Corporate Services Laura Ciarniello. “Citizens identified opportunities to strengthen participation and we’re optimistic that our engagement plan will meet their needs.”
Overall, public input indicated that residents want access to educational material, online options for participation, and open meetings for the Strategic Plan. Saanich will implement these and other changes in phases over the next year to 18 months as it aims for continuous improvement in the processes.
In March 2018, Council allocated $200,000 from its strategic priorities contingency fund to create an ongoing comprehensive and inclusive public engagement program. $90,000 was expended to conduct the initial engagement process. The remaining $110,000 will be used to ensure successful implementation of the recommendations adopted by Council.
The annual financial plan is developed based on activities and operations outlined in the four-year strategic plan, which is largely guided by the official community plan. The new approach will see the strategic and financial plan engagement cycles align with Council’s four-year term beginning in 2019 after the October 20 municipal election.
The Dialogue Partners report with recommendations is available on saanich.ca/yoursayyourway. Watch saanich.ca and Saanich’s social media accounts for the new educational materials and opportunities to participate.
Laura Ciarniello, Director of Corporate Services
250-475-5494 ext. 3531
Valla Tinney, Director of Finance