Council gave final adoption to the annual five year financial plan bylaw at its last meeting, and we now have a budget that reflects what we should be able to accomplish in 2011. Our focus has been to create a sustainable community by balancing economic, environmental and social responsibilities. I thought I would take this opportunity to outline how your council determines its work plan to meet these responsibilities.
Council participated in a strategic planning session in order to set some goals for the year that reflect broad community values as identified in the OCP. We prioritized those goals and asked our staff to create a work plan based on the financial and human resources required. These goals are in addition to the numerous legislative tasks and responsibilities required by the Town of Golden that are outside of our control. Our corporate strategic priorities can be reflected under four categories:
Back to Basics – finish projects and bylaws – This year we intend to complete a number of bylaws including the unsightly premise bylaw, the zoning bylaw and the development procedures bylaw. Ongoing projects that have been prioritized include the development of the Old Town Works Yard, curb side recycling, introducing the tax exemption revitalization program for businesses, and exploring opportunities for the community broadband network.
Maintain Cultural Vibrancy – This goal is reflected in our commitment to redevelop the Civic Center, to invest in another summer concert series and in a public art program.
Enhance Recreation for residents and tourists – This year we will see the installation of a green gym along our Rotary trail system, the installation of several new way-finding signs and a plan for downtown revitalization. In partnership with the province, the bike/pedestrian trail from the Golden Visitors center to the downtown will be built.
Protect our community assets – Council has deliberately set aside a percentage of tax dollars into an infrastructure deficit reserve. As our community assets depreciate rapidly, this minimal contribution is a starting point and we felt that this was a responsible course of action.
We will strive to deliver quality public services in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner while ensuring that our activities are clearly communicated in the local media and on our website.
Lastly, I want to welcome some of the new staff at town hall and thank our existing staff for their hard work and dedication during this busy winter season.
~Mayor Christina Benty
Town of Golden