Council Reviews Strategic Priorities
The pandemic has had a major impact on our community and on city resources. Given the needs and challenges that have come up, it made sense for council to re-visit the priorities we made for this term. What became clear from the feedback from residents, and from our council discussion, is that overall our priorities still make sense for the city, although certain focus areas need adjusting.
One of our five priorities is to increase housing affordability. The pandemic has only further demonstrated how great the need is in our community. We continue to see lots of new housing construction, but we’ll be especially focused on affordable housing and supportive housing for our most vulnerable residents.
A majority of the targets in two of our priorities – demonstrate leadership on climate action and improve walkability, roads and transportation – will remain the same. We remain focused on encouraging active transportation, but we’re holding off of further investment in our transit system until ridership returns to higher levels.
As far as our priority surrounding economic development, we’re pausing further exploration of a deep water dock for cruise ships as well as the downtown tourism campus. Instead we’ll pivot to other strategies to sustain our small businesses and our tourism sector through the pandemic.
And as far as our remaining priority, which is to foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces, we’ll pause any discussion on water fluoridation, and put our focus on strategies to enhance food security.
As a final step, we’ve recommitted to reducing the annual property tax rate increase recognizing the financial strain that many are under right now. Together we can face the immediate challenge of a second wave of COVID, while also investing for a better future on the other side of this pandemic.