What kind of community does Dysart et al aspire to be? What should it be known for?

Councillors waded into strategic plan brainstorming with consulting firm StrategyCorp May 3, discussing values, mission and aspirations for the township.

John Matheson of StrategyCorp said a strategic plan includes a mission, day-today guide for operations, aspirations for the future and values; the “essence of Dysart’s identity.”

StrategyCorp interviewed staff, concluding their top priorities for a strategic plan included service excellence, financial stability, environmental stewardship, effective governance, communication and engagement.

The plan’s framework includes goals such as enhancing customer service experience, fiscal responsibility, and modernizing municipal processes.

Matheson said a strategic plan will aid new staff. For example, a commitment to support the arts and culture sector in the category of economic development and prosperity would determine what’s prioritized and give a sense of the township’s values.

“You’ll continue to refine the meaning of [the plan] as you go,” Matheson said.

The proposed plan will be further developed by Strategycorp before coming back to council for review May 17.

“The idea won’t be to micro-manage each line item, it’s going to be to say ‘hey, if we did the items here would it add up to the fulfillment of what we want to do,’?” Matheson said.

After council discussion, a draft vision statement read “Dysart et al is a culturally rich, welcoming community that prioritizes the natural environment while encouraging a robust local economy and sustainable growth.”

Matheson said the town’s vision statement doesn’t necessarily have to reflect the present. It can set out goals that the township wants to accomplish.

Councillors chimed in with ideas for added words or parts of Dysart’s identity that shouldn’t be missed.

Deputy mayor Pat Kennedy added that a key attraction to the community is that it’s a destination “whatever your passion is: arts, culture, snowmobiling.”

Matheson also guided council through the drafting of a mission statement, reflecting, “what does Dysart do and for whom?” A mission statement would direct staff activities and council priorities.

“Our mission is to serve and engage our residents, visitors and businesses and deliver innovative solutions that advance the priorities of the community,” was a preliminary mission statement Matheson proposed. Strategycorp will incorporate councillor comments, including mention of the community’s changing needs based on demographic shifts and the needs of year-round and seasonal residents.