This fall, staff will be submitting work plans for the 2016 budget. These budget submissions must conform to the strategic plan now in place. Staff and directors are gratified to have received many compliments from constituents on the strategic plan and its focus on mandated SCRD services.
Currently, the SCRD staff and board are working on implementing several aspects of the plan. For example, staff and directors are establishing improved communication with both the Sechelt (Shíshálh) and Squamish (Skwxwu7mesh) Nations at all levels in each organization. Directors recently met with the Squamish Nation at their council chambers in North Vancouver to discuss a protocol agreement and other common issues on the Sunshine Coast. The major focus was on the resource industry activities in the Howe Sound area. There will be an official signing of the protocol with the Squamish Nation on the Sunshine Coast in February 2016.
Following the strategic plan, staff is also working on asset management in order to give the board direction on maintaining facilities and infrastructure to a level that is safe and secure for the community. Meanwhile, members of the SCRD board are initiating a regional economic development program. A steering committee has the task of reviewing the funding model, which a committee of volunteers will follow as part of running the program. The steering committee is also responsible for recruiting volunteers from the community and will be submitting pertinent information to the local media. It is not yet clear which areas of economic development the volunteer committee will handle, but support of small business and marketing the Sunshine Coast are likely to be priorities.
The strategic plan also calls for streamlining of SCRD meetings, and staff and directors are analyzing current procedures with a view to increasing their efficiency. The board and staff are additionally checking the terms of reference of advisory groups to ensure clarity of direction and focus so that time put in by volunteers is as effective as possible.
During October the board approved recommendations for immediate improvements to SCRD water infrastructure. The aim is never to have another summer like that of 2015, with the imposition of stage four water restrictions for parts of the Coast.
Please contact me at 604-741-2427 or e-mail me at email@example.com if you wish to discuss SCRD programs or plans. I will meet you at the Welcome Woods market, Halfmoon Bay store, or the SCRD Field Road office; please contact me to make an