Our City. Our Future.

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Consultation has concluded

logo image of "Our City Our Future" which is the name of the new strategic plan for the City.

New Strategic Plan Our City, Our Future tabled at Committee of the Whole, March 20, 2019 along with list of 2019 Actions. Final approval provided at regular meeting of Council. March 25. Check out both documents in the document library.

Understanding the needs and expectations of the community is key to good city strategic planning.

In March 2018 we undertook our first citizen satisfaction survey which provided a benchmark of how we are currently performing, and a snapshot of what residents think about the services they receive, value for money, capital spending, and engagement and communications.

We learned that residents believe St. John’s is a good place to live, where they have good quality of life and enjoy a variety of services. We also heard more about the areas where residents believe we need to make improvements. While the survey was one tool we used to inform the development of a new strategic plan and a new three-year budget, hearing from a variety of voices was an important part of the process.

Between April and October 2018, through a series of nearly 50 in-person and on-line engagement activities, there were several thousand points of engagement including the voices around the city’s advisory committees. Regardless of the stakeholder, key themes started to emerge from the engagement process and people indicated what was important to them.

Combined with the feedback from the citizen survey, this information helped shape the new vision and strategic directions. Following the release of the What we Heard document in July 2018, we started working internally to frame up the plan, its directions and goals, and then worked across departments and with Council to confirm the Action Plan for 2019.

New Strategic Plan Our City, Our Future tabled at Committee of the Whole, March 20, 2019 along with list of 2019 Actions. Final approval provided at regular meeting of Council. March 25. Check out both documents in the document library.

Understanding the needs and expectations of the community is key to good city strategic planning.

In March 2018 we undertook our first citizen satisfaction survey which provided a benchmark of how we are currently performing, and a snapshot of what residents think about the services they receive, value for money, capital spending, and engagement and communications.

We learned that residents believe St. John’s is a good place to live, where they have good quality of life and enjoy a variety of services. We also heard more about the areas where residents believe we need to make improvements. While the survey was one tool we used to inform the development of a new strategic plan and a new three-year budget, hearing from a variety of voices was an important part of the process.

Between April and October 2018, through a series of nearly 50 in-person and on-line engagement activities, there were several thousand points of engagement including the voices around the city’s advisory committees. Regardless of the stakeholder, key themes started to emerge from the engagement process and people indicated what was important to them.

Combined with the feedback from the citizen survey, this information helped shape the new vision and strategic directions. Following the release of the What we Heard document in July 2018, we started working internally to frame up the plan, its directions and goals, and then worked across departments and with Council to confirm the Action Plan for 2019.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Do you have questions about specific programs or services not addressed here? Please post your question and someone from the city will reply to you.

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    Are there plans for the City to show Leadership and start the process of Regionalization or at the very least Regionalization of all Services, such as snowclearing, for the Northeast Avalon? There are 81 Councillors for a population of just under 275000 or one Councillor for every 3400 people. Take away St. John's and you have one Councillor for every 1355 persons. We have mil rates from 4.5 to 8.5. and a combined budget of less than $500 million. Toronto has a budget of approx $10 Billion with 25 Councillors for 2.8 million people.

    fraser asked about 3 years ago

    The City looks for opportunities to work with regional partners on a variety of services. Currently, this includes water, wastewater, fire, and waste management. We continue to engage our regional partners in discussions where there may be opportunities to work together. Any discussions and decisions about regional government would have to be initiated by the provincial government. In 2019 the City will be undertaking a review and public engagement process of elections reform which will also consider a review of council composition.


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    Does the City have the authority to implement a Poll Tax for all people working in the City of St. John's? Our main arteries are costing the tax payers of St. John's a small fortune while the people who use them every day from outside the city pays nothing. Plus they enjoy a lower mil rate in their respective towns.

    fraser asked about 3 years ago

    The City has no ability to implement a poll tax on those who work but do not live in the City. As for toll booths – the City is not exploring this option at this time.


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    Why does the City not enforce littering regulations, and fine businesses and homeowners who litter?

    ccoady asked over 3 years ago

    The City's Commercial Maintenance By Law and Residential Property Standards By Law address these types of scenarios. The City regularly takes enforcement action under those bylaws. Link to the bylaws below: http://www.stjohns.ca/city-hall/about-city-hall/laws-and-regulations


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    Why are tax rates so high? Why has the City doubled its revenues over the past 5-6 years? Are you effective and efficient with our taxes dollars? Please provide your evidence on efficiency measures.

    ccoady asked over 3 years ago

    Thank you for your question.  It is important to note the City has not doubled its revenues (from tax) over the past 5-6 years. Since 2013 the budget has increase 18% - an average of 3.7% per year. Some of this growth is attributed to the demand for new services, such as new recreation facilities.

    We continuously strive to work towards being a more efficient and effective organization. The City conducted a rigorous program review exercise in 2016 which resulted in cost savings of over $13 million and subsequently a return in 2017 to 2015 tax levels. In addition, the city instituted a continuous improvement program in 2017 which focuses on reviewing processes regularly to ensure they are as efficient and effective as possible. There are currently nine projects underway including the permitting process, landfill drop off and staffing processes to name a few.

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    Why is road maintenance given a low priority at the City? The majority of the streets have no painted lines and pothole patching is not effective.

    ccoady asked over 3 years ago

    The City of St. John's places a high priority on road maintenance activities. These activities include things such as asphalt/concrete repair, street cleaning, line painting, and snow clearing. The winter season takes a toll on pavement markings - snow plows and studded tires wear the paint quickly.  The City is constantly looking for product improvements that have greater durability.

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    Hi there, thanks for the opportunity. I didn't see anything explicit about biking. Is it included anywhere? If so, what is the status? Thanks again

    Viviana asked over 3 years ago

    In the Bike St. John’s Task Force Report council approved there was a section on strategic direction: http://bikestjohns.ca/assets/PDF/BSJ_Task_Force-Final_Report.pdf#page=25

    As part of this process the following recommendation was adopted: “That the City commit to developing safe, comfortable, and convenient cycling infrastructure, policies, and programs.”



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    Why does the City have very few festivals and carnivals to promote the social fabric of the city? By comparison, the City of Mt. Pearl hosts wonderful community events.

    ccoady asked over 3 years ago

    The City delivers and /or supports a variety of community building event noted below. If you have other questions, please send them along.

    City Hosted Annual Events

    ChillFest, February

    Youth Talent Show, March

    St. John's Days, June

    Canada Day, July 1

    Seniors Party in the Park, July

    Family Week - Family Fun Day, Sept.

    Pumpkin Walk, Nov 1

    MOVE IT (National Child Week Main event) Nov.

    Festival of Music & Lights, Dec

    New Year's Eve Celebrations, Dec. 31


    25 Music @ Concerts

    8 - Spring Fall, various venues

    13 - Summer, Harbourside Park

    2 - Summer, Bannerman Park

    2 - Summer, Bowring Park

    In addition the City provides funding for various events throughout the year.


    2018 Special Events & Festivals  Grants were provided to:

    Association communautaire francophone de Saint-Jean 

    Huffin Puffin Marathon

    Lawnya Vawnya Inc.

    Mummers Festival

    MUN Botanical Gardens

    MUNIranians Association

    Newfoundland & Labrador Folks Arts Society

    Newfoundland Dance Presenters Inc. (Neighbourhood Dance Works)

    Newfoundland Horticultural Society 

    Nickel Independent Film Festival

    Shakespeare by the Sea Festival

    Sound Arts Initiative, Inc.

    St. John's International Circus Festival

    St. John's International Women's Film Festival Inc.

    St. John's Pride Inc.

    St. John's Short Play Festival 

    St. John's Storytelling Festival Inc.

    TEDxSt. John's

    Tely 10

    Tombolo Multicultural Festival

    Tuckamore Festival Inc.

    Women's Work Festival

    Wreckhouse Jazz & Blues Inc.