Hudson Strategic Plan for Dummies

There are very few dummies among us, but today I’m attempting to distill the essence of Hudson’s strategic plan to a few simple sentences.

  • Hudson can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing because we’re slowly failing financially and not keeping up with the requirements of the bureaucracy of the MRC and Quebec.
  • Hudson needs better government, responsive, open, fiscally responsive and completely transparent.
  • Hudson has deep passion for arts and culture and has many involved citizens.
  • Hudson values the beauty of the nature around us and has many involved citizens.
  • Hudson will need more tax paying residents to pay our bills, but we must grow in a planned and controlled fashion that fits Hudson’s image and way of life.
  • Hudson needs be more attractive and better maintained, to be a better place to live, to attract more visitors and entice more future residents to buy homes here.
  • Hudson needs to encourage and enable transitional living options so that residents can age well in Hudson for as long as possible.

This is basically my simple summary of everything Council has resolved to do when they accepted the Strategic Plan at April’s public Council meeting. The rest of the strategic plan is professional, competent, and comprehensive.

The plan shows that they’ve spent a lot of time and thought this out, put some numbers together and set a timeline and plan for staged implementation. Since it affects our future I suggest everyone read it. My previous posts shared the links to the documents or just go to Hudson’s website.

A meeting May 12th will provide much more information and form committees on various points.

For the fearful among us, Council can’t simply start spending borrowed money wildly or making deals or rezoning without public approval on anything major. If they did, they would lose the trust and respect of the people and violate one of their own strategic plan pillars.

I will dig deeper into some of the key Hudson Strategic plan issues in future posts, so casual visitors should check back often. As always, we need more discussion and more voices, so please speak up and comment.

I’d like to thank Mayor Prevost and all Councillors for gathering our comments and listening to citizen’s concerns and then spending the countless hours it takes to prepare such a complex and well thought out framework for the future, especially during a time of extreme duress and complex challenges within our municipal government.

The Prevost administration is the first in decades to undertake such a major plan for our future, they deserve our respect and in return we should take the time to read and understand what we need to do together to make Hudson’s future better.

If we fail to plan for Hudson’s future, Hudson will surely fail.

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7 thoughts on “Hudson Strategic Plan for Dummies

  1. Unfortunately the plan does not answer the most crucial question. What will our town look like and what type of citizens will be catering to in the next 5 years. I was looking for a statement such as “Hudson will be dedicated to the arts and environment” or “Hudson will be a retirement community” or “Hudson will be a bedroom community” or “Hudson will be a destination shopping community” and possibly a 100 more possibilities.
    It is only when this paragraph has been completed, can we then attack which project fits with this vision. The key to success in any endeavour is FOCUS,FOCUS and more FOCUS.

    The current document gives us options and guidelines as to what the VISION might be. Now, however, we need to do the really difficult part which is defining our target. The turn-around of Hudson will occur when we reach a collective vision of what we want to be, and develop a focussed plan to achieve it.

    As a turn-around specialist, I know that even doing this will not guarantee success. The spark that will be needed will be a group of people who will “walk on water” to see it accomplished

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bill,

      The plan is a framework, it hasn’t yet answered all the questions.

      The May 12th meeting will better present the plan and form five major committees with citizens to work on major areas and define the focus and actions required in each area.

      I’m sure you will be willing to get involved.

      Like

      1. Peter,
        I do not think that my participation would help the cause. “Fortress Council” exists and people on the “persona non grata” list know that any suggestion , no matter how thoughtful or experience-based will be either ignored or the opposite action will be taken.
        My personal objective is that Hudson digs itself out of the hole, and if my standing on the sideline helps, then so be it.

        Like

      2. I’m amazed that for a “nice polite and friendly” community without organized municipal politics that we have so many many who apparently feel as you do Bill.

        That is a failing that somehow needs to be addressed from both sides, I don’t have yet that answer but I won’t stop looking and I hope others follow and persist.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. For the record Bill, I forwarded your comments to Hudson Council with my comments that your’s is not a unique statement, because I thought what you said was important and didn’t want the message missed.

        Like

  2. Peter,
    When I was involved in Change Management (which is what we should be doing in Hudson) , I used an 8 stage plan which I summarize below.
    The key to this process is that it MUST be sequential. It does not work if you jump around. It has been used in 10-15 of my projects and so is battle tested.

    1) Establish a Sense of Urgency
    2) Create a Guiding Coalition
    3) Develop a Vision and Strategy
    4) Communicate the Change Vision
    5) Empowering Broad-Based Action
    6) Generating short term wins
    7) Consolidating Gains and Producing more change
    8) Anchoring New approaches to the Culture

    In our case, the Guiding Coalition should be the council and they must define clearly what Hudson will look like in 5 years. The 2 or 3 paragraph “Elevator Pitch” is truly essential.
    The current document is a shotgun approach listing “nice-to-have ” projects. What we now need is a rifle shot identifying the target we are aiming for and something that we can test all projects against.
    I am very concerned that the upcoming meeting and the splitting off into working groups will just create stronger silos (the arts centre group vs. the Infrastructure group) and more reason to fight.

    Please , please, someone persuade the Council to develop their clear, unambiguous view of the Future Hudson BEFORE throwing it open to the public. IE items 3 and 4 must come before 5.

    Like

    1. Thank you Bill.

      I have little fear of the Strategic Plan moving quickly to implementation, in large part because of the very issues that you highlight well here.

      I applaud this Council for thinking and tabling something forward looking. The most important point for me is that they seem to have recognized many of the key problems I have spent years talking about in columns and in discussions. We need change and we need growth, but it must be controlled and compatible growth. And also that any major new initiative like an Arts Center will REQUIRE an outside partner to invest significant money. Can we find such a partner? If not a cornerstone of the plan is sunk, because we can’t fund it ourselves with everything else that needs doing.

      Hopefully some of the infrastructure isn’t beyond their ability to approve things like paving, etc. in the current mandate. Those are existing issues that need addressing even if nothing else moves forward.

      I think the more complex parts could (will surely) extend beyond their current mandate and I’m not expecting 100% of them to run in the next election. So it will be up to the next Mayor and Council to consider.

      For me the major part of any major change is selling it well to the shareholders (citizens) and the employees (D.G. thru Blue Collar). Both must understand the need for change and the benefits of the end goal.

      Your elevator pitch comment is bang on, without the ability to verbalize it simply the project can’t get traction.

      Thanks for your participation here. I know you’ve tried to help elsewhere as well without success. Keep trying.

      Like

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