Council Strategic Plan

Richmond Hill is creating a new two-year Council Strategic Plan to set priorities for 2020-2022.
I wanted to highlight the progress that has been made on the new Council Strategic Plan. While I generally do not think it is ideal to create a plan for Council with only 2 years to go on the rest of the term, I do think that given the present COVID situation, it is very important that Council agree and focus upon some very important key Strategic Initiatives that will benefit our community.
As an important part of this process the public was asked to participate in a survey in the lead up to the creation of this plan. The response from the public was good, and I thank those that responded for their input.
A number of key themes were expressed by residents in this survey. The top issue chosen in the survey by residents (48%) was “Protect the Natural Environment”. I am not surprised by this response given what I have heard from residents over the past 7 years that I have been on Council. A healthy environment is foundational to all of us and a key reason why people chose Richmond Hill.
Additionally residents also expressed a desire to keep taxes low, and continue to advocate for the subway extension to highway 7.
Additional to the set survey questions, residents also frequently added comments regarding the priority of managing development and limiting intensification, as well as related concerns about traffic and insufficient infrastructure. Also included as additional comments by the public was a need in our community to deal with a growing issue of affordability of housing.
Finally residents also frequently added to the preset list in the survey about Council behaviour including the respectful treatment of each other, staff and residents as well as a desire to see an increase level of cooperation and demonstrating Integrity.
These are all important issues and are consistent with what I have heard from residents in the past. I agree that all of these issues must all be included in the decisions and directions that Council takes as we move forward. As such I would expect them to be included in a final Strategic Plan.
A Strategic Plan, if done well and done with real commitments to follow it, is exciting and will help us as a community to thrive when the Pandemic subsides. 
The final plan is expected to be shared at a public Council meeting before the end of this year.   
Click here to read a recent article by Sheila Wang in The Liberal following the recent public survey. This article includes full detail of the survey results.