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City embarking on strategic planning journey

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For the first time ever, the City of Dauphin is embarking on a strategic planning exercise, complete with a mission statement, vision and values.
The process, at this point involves senior administration and council who are scheduled to meet, June 3 and 23.
The first meeting will include a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) city manager Sharla Griffiths said.
“And then for the second meeting we’ll get back together and from that information talk about what are some of the pillars and overarching concepts that we want to maintain in our community, as well as some larger scale goals,” she said.
With the possibility of council turnover on a regular basis, Griffiths said the plan would look four years into the future.
“So we are about halfway through this term and it would take us about halfway into the next term,” she said.
“So that next council, whatever configuration it is, would have a couple of years to be working on that and, you know, say ‘do we like this direction, do we want to keep going with it’ and then reiterate in the next strategic plan update. Or if they want to change things, it gives them an opportunity and they still have two years to make something.”
While the City as an organization, has had written goals, it has never gone through the self reflection that is involved in the strategic planning process.
The strategic plan is broader than the typical capital plan the city completes.
“It’s more about focusing on some of the bigger concepts,” Griffiths said, adding the current council’s priorities of fiscal responsibility, economic development and community safety will be used as the starting point.
“That’s one of the starting documents or source documents that we’ll use for this. Maybe formalizing or developing some of those concepts a little bit further.”
While the city does have a mission statement of sorts hidden away in its 2010 Development Plan, Griffiths said in her nine years with the city there has never been a process to develop a formal vision and propagate it.
“It speaks well of this council that they want to formalize some of those concepts and be transparent to the community,” she said, adding she is looking forward to going through the process.
“It’s just senior administration at this point. I know that there’s a lot of different ways to do the strategic plan and gather the information. But considering that we have not done one before, we thought that we would take this maybe small, humble step to do it and to get something going. In the future it may be done on a bigger scale or a grander scale, but we wanted to make this first step.”