We identified 48 corporate level initiatives that are designed to move us toward our vision. We have also identified 38 corporate performance measures which we will report on to resident stakeholders so that taxpayers can see how we are progressing toward our goals. This will be a tool for our residents to monitor our progress on different initiatives which are marked as priority items in the eyes of our residents, staff and Council.
In the public sector, the order of the financial and customer perspectives are switched so that the customer perspective is on the top because public sector organizations are more focused on service delivery than on making money. The perspectives are also usually renamed and changed slightly to reflect the differences between the private sector and the public sector.
In Stratford, we have further modified the system to blend it with our sustainability plan and vision by using our sustainability pillars as the strategic themes and by expanding the stewardship perspective to reflect our responsibility for stewardship of our natural resources
Building the best community possible starts by first determining what kind of future we want. Stratford has adopted a long term vision of the future based on the social, environmental, economic, cultural and governance dimensions of sustainability. We envision a future where:
- residents social, physical and spiritual needs are met
- our culture is rich and diverse and our heritage is protected and celebrated
- our natural environment is protected and respected
- there is a thriving local economy
- there is an open, accountable and collaborative governance system
Sustainability is simply a word that we use to describe a planning and decision making system designed to ensure that we consider the broad impact of our decisions and actions so that our children and their children can enjoy the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed. Council has adopted a Sustainability Plan and a Sustainability Decision Making Framework to guide our decisions and actions towards the sustainable future we envision. The Decision Making Framework is a series of questions designed to ensure a decision is balanced and that any negative consequences of the decision are mitigated.
The following is a more detailed description of our desired future in the five dimensions of sustainability.
Stratford is a town of economic prosperity characterized by a vibrant local economy with a range of goods and services meaningful employment and benefits accruing to the community. Stratford attracts and retains businesses that are engaged in the sustainability journey. A strong economy is an essential foundation for a sustainable future rather than an end unto itself.
Stratford meets the social needs of its people by allowing for self determination, welcoming diversity and ensuring human rights, security and justice. The Town encourages social responsibility, engagement and participation. Citizens take initiative and participate in social decisions. There is a strong sense of identity and pride in community. Well being or quality of life is a key indicator for Stratford.
Stratford recognizes the intrinsic value of biodiversity and the coastal and agricultural ecosystems on which it is built. Nature is much more than a resource, it sustains us economically, spiritually and aesthetically. We share it with other creatures who deserve our respect. Appreciation of nature allows us to protect and restore its worth. We can also learn from the principles on which natural systems are built.
Stratford recognizes its cultural and historical assets and is building on these distinct characteristics. Every community has a distinct profile of human, cultural, historical and natural characteristics. Recognizing and building on this profile will help Stratford achieve sustainability. Stratford expresses its creativity and ingenuity in a way that is compatible with the values and realities of a population that is growing and becoming more diverse. A culture of sustainability will be achieved through new community awareness and commitment to action.
Stratford’s success is based on good governance, leadership, integrity and accountability. Municipal leaders have a commitment to learning and to progressive decision making. Stratford honours its municipal responsibilities by being inclusive and making decisions based on the dimensions of sustainability. It will reflect this in all aspects of its operations. Stratford empowers its people to take responsibility and work with collaborative spirit towards a common sustainable future.