On April 4 the Village of Delia council, in keeping with the promise of being transparent and having an open dialogue with their citizens, hosted a strategic planning workshop at their first Town Hall meeting.
Fifteen people turned up at the Delia Drop-In Center to participate in the planning session hosted by Mayor David Sisley, Deputy Mayor Dawn Bancroft, and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mark Nikota.
Councillor Jordan MacNutt was unable to attend due to a family emergency.
The workshop was facilitated by Julie Friesen, Community Development Officer with Alberta Culture, Community Development Unit.
A councillor for the City of Medicine Hat, Friesen offers a wealth of experience in leadership development, board development and governance, strategic/business planning, organizational development, collaboration building, training, community, program and volunteer development.
While the current and previous Delia council and CAO had already worked through the process, this planning session provided community members with an opportunity to have their say.
“We want to hear what the people of the village have to say to shape our future,” stated Mayor Sisley during his introduction.
Beginning the evening with an overview of the strategic planning process, Friesen said, “I’m not here to tell you what you should think; I’m here to facilitate your discussion.”
Dividing participants into groups of three or four, Friesen asked participants to come up with ideas of what they would like to see for the future of Delia.
As community members dove into the process during the breakout session, Friesen circulated among the groups, encouraging discussion and answering questions.
Following a short recess, Friesen led participants through the idea compilation and priority setting steps, arriving at a summary of the vision Delia imagines for its future.
Infrastructure improvement and creating business and economic development opportunities were the highest priorities noted, followed closely by community growth, tourism, relationship building and community pride.
Echoing the conclusions uncovered during council’s previous sessions, the participants agreed that Delia needs more people, more business, more affordable housing, good infrastructure and lower taxes.
Moving forward, the information gathered at this, and previous planning sessions will be compiled into a draft three year Strategic Plan for the village.