Oak Bay council prioritizes work for coming two years

Water concerns, Turkey Head revamp added to strategic planning consideration

A handful of projects top the list of priorities after a day-long roundtable session Friday at municipal hall.

The four-year strategic plan guides council and staff during decisions made throughout the year, and in particular during spring budget deliberations.

At the halfway mark of its term, council hopes to whittle down a top three for staff for the next two years of its mandate.

“My view on this is that this is an evolutionary process. These kind of spreadsheets, they go through a constant process of reexamination, refreshing and updating,” said consultant Gary Nason, a former interim chief administrative officer in Oak Bay who led the process.

He said there are generally four purposes for the workshop: an opportunity to review items completed; linking priorities to the coming budget as the provisional budget for next year is underway; re-examining strategic priorities; and developing the top three priorities for 2017 and top three for 2018.

“I approach that question almost from the perspective … ‘If we’re going to drop the ball on anything, tell us what absolutely not to drop the ball on,’” he said.

Nason noted staff does spend 80 to 90 per cent of their workload on core services – paving or planning for example.

Council reviewed the current strategic plan, items referred to the strategic planning process throughout the year, and attempted to update its priorities.

https://www.oakbay.ca/sites/default/files/Council%20Strategic%20Plan%202015%20-%202018.detail%20-%20media%20release.pdf

Items such as the Estevan village sidewalk work, way finding signs and Bowker Creek multi-use trail upgrades were deemed lesser priorities.

A physical exercise, where council placed stickers indicating support on a series of projects, whittled the priorities down.

Turkey Head revitalization, housing retention, live aboard and derelict boats, Heritage Conservation Area, water supply redundancy, deer management, electric vehicle stations and an Oak Bay village plan earned most support.

“You’ve done quite a bit of work in terms of narrowing the funnel,” Nason told council Friday.

He plans to consult with staff about what each priority means to budget and staff time and offer a draft priorities for council to consider during a committee of the whole meeting.

Visit www.oakbay.ca online to find the current strategic plan.

Hot Topics

’Round and ’round the table council added potential new items for consideration

• redevelopment of Turkey Head parking lot to allow for performance space, markets

• water redundancy (only one pipe currently serves Oak Bay)

• revamp residential land use bylaws

• developing and implementing a deer management plan

• regulations of short-term rentals such as AirBnB

• an overall Oak Bay village plan including the municipally owned houses on Hampshire and Monterey

• modernization of heritage bylaws

• looking at use of gas powered leaf blowers in the community

• with the Turkey Head land and water lease expiring in 2022, preparing for potential changes there

• a dog park

• parking in commercial areas

• use of municipally owned homes on Monterey Avenue and Hampshire Road

• electric vehicle stations