Special Projects

Southgate 2018 Community Action Plan

Document Links:

2015 CAP Annual Final Report - Adopted at Council Apr. 6, 2016
Community Action Plan Binder from Council on April 22, 2015
2014 CAP Annual Final Report - Adopted at Council Mar. 18, 2015
Southgate Community Action Plan - Adopted at Council Nov 6, 2013
Southgate Community Action Plan Final Draft - Sept. 2013
CAP Feedback Form - Re: Draft for Discussion
Press Release - June 5, 2013 CAP first draft presented to Council
CAP for Discussion - June 5, 2013
CAP - Powerpoint Draft for Discussion - June 5, 2013
Press Release - Survey Results
Final Survey Results Summary
Council Presentation of Survey Results
Summary of Survey Write-in responses

2016 community action plan

What is a Community Action Plan and why should Southgate have one?
 

A Community Action Plan will tell the residents and businesses of Southgate how Council, as your elected body, intends to focus its attention, conduct its affairs, and invest the community’s tax money for the next several years.  It will specify how our community, led by its Township Council, proposes to take action on the challenges and the opportunities we face. As Yogi Berra might have said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’re never going to get there”.
 
Council recognizes that the demand for Township services and the cost of our infrastructure may exceed the resources that we realistically have available.  Choices will have to be made.  With your input, the Community Action Plan will provide guidance about where Southgate’s priorities should be over the next several years.
 
Southgate wants to remain sustainable, but sustainability is a big word.  It includes sustaining our natural environment, our local economy, our social activities and culture, as well as our financial status. For example, how will we keep taxes reasonable while keeping up our infrastructure?  How will we respect the natural environment and our history while supporting local businesses and local jobs?  With your input, the Community Action Plan will help Council to steer a balanced course.
 
Council was elected to lead and to work with the community toward a better Southgate.  Nonetheless, the efforts of far more than Council are needed to make meaningful progress. We need the support of our management and staff, our volunteers, and our community organizations, as well as other governments.

 
How Will the Southgate 2018 Community Action Plan be Used? 
 

Council will use it…

  • To focus its decision-making, confront identified challenges, and pursue identified opportunities
  • To identify specific actions to achieve community objectives, and to measure our progress regularly
  • To elicit the support and participation of community groups and businesses
  • To carry a consistent message to the Province and other government bodies
     

Town staff will use it …

  • To guide the preparation of annual budgets, workplans, infrastructure, Official Plans for land use, and long-term financial plans
  • To identify areas where initiative and innovation would be most appreciated
  • To explore potential creative ways to deliver and pay for services

The public can use it…

  • To understand what the Town is trying to do
  • To hold us accountable for doing what we said we would do
  • To help the Town to accomplish its objectives
     

Sounds good, but what does it mean in practice?

Hundreds of other communities of all sizes all across Ontario have undertaken similar planning processes. They believe, as we do, that communities are more successful, and they get more effective and efficient government, by thinking through what they want to achieve.
Generally, their plans contain objectives that fall into three categories. 
The first category includes projects and services out in the community.  For example:

  •   Keeping infrastructure in good condition, and setting out 3 or 4 specific actions to do so over the next 3-5 years
  •   Supporting local business and local jobs, and then setting out 3 or 4 specific actions for doing so over the next 3-5 years
  •   Conserving natural environments, and then setting out 3 or 4 specific actions for doing so over the next 3-5 years
  •   Preserving local history and heritage, with 3 or 4 specific actions for doing so over the next 3-5 years.

The second category describes the nature and style of local government they want. Examples of objectives that fall into this category:

  •   Regular and open communication between Council and the public, with 3 or 4 specific actions for doing so over the next 3-5 years
  •   Recruiting and supporting the work of volunteers, with 3 or 4 specific actions for doing so over the next 3-5 years
  •   Excellent customer service on the part of the municipal administration, with 3 or 4 specific actions for doing so over the next 3-5 years

The third category of objectives relates to municipal financial management.  In this category, for example, other municipalities have discussed how they want to manage municipal taxes, fees for municipal services, municipal borrowing, municipal savings plans, etc.

These are merely illustrations drawn from elsewhere. Our community will state its own guiding principles, its own definition of community success, and its own key objectives for the future.

A Community Action Plan is not the same as the municipal Official Plan stipulated by Provincial legislation.  The Official Plan deals specifically with land use and future physical development, as well as the various planning tools at the municipality’s disposal.  The Community Action Plan will be broader. What does our community want to achieve and how will we get it done?  
 

How Will the Public be Involved?example survey

We are all in this together. We may not always agree with each other about what the priorities for action should be. But we all have a stake in the course we set for our community.  To get there, we must listen to each other and think through our common issues. 
Council has engaged consultants Bill Winegard and Lynn Morrow to help us to listen carefully and impartially, and to help both Council and our community to think creatively and realistically about our options for the future. 

Bill and Lynn will:

  • Conduct a random sample public survey by mail.  500 Southgate homes and businesses will receive this survey during the week of January 21.  Responses will be sent to, and analyzed by the consultants themselves.  The results will provide a statistically valid picture of what Southgate residents and businesses think of Township services and priorities. View Final Survey Results here!
  • Offer the opportunity for other members of the public to fill in and return the questionnaire (see below!) either via the Township website  or at drop-off boxes at the Library, Township office, Dundalk Arena and the Holstein General Store.
  • Meet with the executive of several local organizations in fields such as  of agriculture, recreation, environment, business, seniors, and civic clubs
  • Interview not only Council members and staff but also numerous other individuals, ranging from environmental stewards to business leaders to members of the local clergy
  • Meet with Township staff
  • Provide the opportunity for members of the public to provide input via the Township website or by e-mailing them directly at communityactionplan@southgate.ca
  •  Use Township newsletters, website, and press releases to keep the public informed and to test out what they have heard
  •  Provide a draft strategic plan for public input
  •  Meet with at least two focus groups to get feedback in person on the draft strategic plan

Ultimately, as your elected representatives, Council will adopt an action plan which it feels best reflects the goals of our community.  Councils and staff will take responsibility for working methodically to get the plan implemented over the next several years.  Councils and staff will also monitor and report back to the public on our progress.

Thank-you to all who have participated in the survey. There has been an overwhelming response!