"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
Strategic planning for the Village of Portland was initiated under the guidance of Councillor Doug Good in 2014. It was conceived as an integrated component of Rideau Lakes Township Strategic Plan Portland - RLT Planning framework as well as collaborative effort with the Country Roads Community Health Centre, the United Church, The Portland Community Hall Board and the Portland Historical Society and other stakeholders in the community.
The collaborative effort reflects the fundamental connections that make up a healthy community with robust qualities of life. Thus the starting point of the effort was to develop a consensus across members of the community as to the most valued elements that are the basis of a Vision for the village of Portland. The methodology chosen to do the work is the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), which is includes the client (residents and taxpayers) as an equal player in the planning activities. The first step of the BSC process is an Assessment based on the client values:
- A sense of Belonging:
- A community that fosters a sense of belonging and respect for all;
- Encourages contribution through participation;
- A safe community;
- A culture of caring and sharing.
- Kids and Youth:
- Our kids are our legacy;
- The growing years should be filled with good experiences.
- Pride in the appearance and spirit of our community;
- Pride, derived from all of the above, is contagious;
- Pride is a key element for attracting volunteers.
- Lifetime Learning:
- Our most critical survival skill is curiosity;
- Curiosity is is the foundation of learning and the driver of innovation;
- Curiosity leads to asking questions and builds respectful communication and collaboration.
- A Healthy community:
- Good health requires a healthy active lifestyle;
- Access to good food;
- Access to effective and timely healthcare;
- Exercise programs;
- outdoor green spaces.
- Our heritage reminds us of who we are, where we came from and gives us the stories we cherish;
- It reminds us that our freedom is not free - it has been acquired through the sacrifices of previous generations;
- Our heritage heritage urges us to preserve and promote significant structures, sites and artifacts that will be important to future generations.
- Economic Opportunities:
- A thriving and sustainable economy;
- An innovative and creative culture that spawns new businesses and employment opportunities;
- extend and promote tourism experiences;
- based on quality services that support year-round economic growth and job opportunities.
- Community Identity:
- derived from activities and assets of Portland that makes a visit an experience to remember;
- A visual identity that is developed and promoted through year round events which attract visitors and create economic opportunities;
- Our story/theme: Discover Portland, Find yourself.
- Our Natural environment:
- A proactive concern and safeguards for our surroundings;
- Learning programs that help residents and visitors discover the natural wonders of our area.
- Affordable housing:
- Safe and affordable homes for residents and seniors;
- Energy efficient, well built homes;
- Safe water supply and waste management services;
- Serviced land for housing.
- Sustainable Infrastructure:
- Effective and sustainable infrastructure (roads, water, waste and wide-band communications);
- a Collaborative network that connects and enhances each of our communities across the the township.
Vision Statement: The village of Portland seeks sustainable growth that protects our natural and historic resources, while preserving our values and qualities of life.
Mission Statement: The mission of Portland is to promote and improve our quality of living, enhance our sense of community, preserve our small-town heritage, to promote a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable and growing economy.
We are committed to providing excellence in services for all citizens, businesses, and visitors through continuous improvement and determination. We encourage community participation from our citizens, businesses and service organizations.
There are many Value-based items to consider in planning. Too many to assemble specific teams to address each one. However if we define broad-based themes for a smaller number of teams, we can organize our resources to support multiple plan tasks that have common elements. For each task we plan there may be multiple teams that can contribute elements of work in a collaborative fashion to achieving each goal. A goal with a heritage theme as a central element of planning may incorporate tasks supported by both Promotions, Lifestyle and Economics teams in order to make better use of experience and resources. Similarly an economic goal may include tasks supported by Heritage, Promotion, Life style and Facilities & Services teams.
It is hard to imagine that any significant goal would not require some effort to promote the proposed activities, some support from the economic team to acquire seed funding and financial performance metrics as well as perhaps local funding support. As an example, it has been suggested Portland needs to have facilities to support canoeing activities that may include, training, suggested routes and places to visit. Such a goal would need to have waterfront access, perhaps racks to store canoes, instructors and training aides. The teams and themes concept reduces duplication of special resources and creates more opportunities for volunteers to get involved.
The list below gives some suggestions for 6 Teams each with a a Theme and specialized resources:
- Lifestyle, includes Quality of Life, Health and Safety, Belonging, Food and Fellowship.
- Economics, including Economic Opportunities, Affordable Housing.
- Environment, including environmental health and protection.
- Heritage, including preservation, and telling our stories.
- Communications & Promotion, including publications, promotions, identity with consistency.
- Facilities and Services, including our community physical facilities and infrastructure services.
If you are interested in either leading a team or participating in one or more teams, let us know and identify which themes appeal to you.
An excellent handbook for Strategic planning for rural communities complete with case studies, lessons learned, developed by the Ontario Health Department and theOntario Planning Institute: click on the link to view/download the document.
The Canada Census Profile provides population data which is an essential component for planning: