RDEK Developing New Strategic Plan

(Bradley Jones, Summit107.com staff)

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Board of Directors approved their strategic goals to begin the creation and development of a new Strategic Plan for RDEK.

Adopting their key focus areas for the next three years until the end of their election term, Rob Gay, RDEK Board Chair told Summit 107 that it will provide direction and help them guide and prioritize projects as they are considered.

"We wanted to look at what our goals will be for that time and then with that, set up some objectives and then get down to the project level," said Gay. "Generally we're quite good at the project level, we have a scoring system where we can figure out which projects should go first and second, and whatnot but we want to tie them now to sort of higher-level goals."

The four RDEK priorities include governance excellence, safety and preparedness, economic health, and management excellence:

Governance Excellence

  • We will continue to build on our culture of transparent, accountable, and results-focused decisions based on data, principles, and in alignment with our policies and strategic priorities
  • We will focus on strong reciprocal relationships with our residents, businesses, neighbours and First Nations

Safety and Preparedness

  • We ensure we have the training, relationships, infrastructure and plans in place to prevent and manage emergencies
  • We promote and support programs that enable our residents to be prepared to take a leadership role in their own and their community’s safety

Economic Health

  • We embrace innovation, stewardship and partnership to support a healthy regional economy
  • We recognize the importance of our region’s natural areas to our local economy

Management Excellence

  • We value our staff and ensure that they we have systems and processes in place to serve our region
  • With an eye to innovative solutions, we will address the opportunities and challenges around solid waste, composting and recycling
  • Impacts and mitigation of climate change are considered in all aspects of our operation

Through those priorities, Gay said they can better evaluate objectives and projects that relate to the four focus areas, helping them remain in line with their goals for the RDEK.

"Is it urgent? Is there money in the budget this year or is it something we have to look at? Does it reflect the level of public support? Does the public support it or neutral or maybe they'd be opposed to it? Then we also look about sustainability, it's okay to build a lot of these projects, but if we can't sustain them financially in the long run, they just become a burden to the taxpayer," said Gay about how the RDEK evaluates its various projects.

"We put all of our projects through a scoring matrix," added Gay. "Generally the ones that come up with the highest score is what would go on our list to start first and the other ones would have to wait in their cue a year, maybe two years, sometimes three years until we get around to that particular project."

The RDEK Board amended the project rating matrix to better align with their four priorities.

Although Gay said the planning process never stops, the RDEK will now look at all of the identified projects they'd like to see completed and rank them through the matrix, picking the highest priority projects to include in the new Strategic Plan.

It's anticipated that the Strategic Plan will be back before the RDEK Board for final approval in either August or September.

Audio: Rob Gay, RDEK Board Chair (example of priority focus areas)

Audio: Rob Gay, RDEK Board Chair (on the project rating matrix)

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