San Pedro Town Councilors undergo Strategic Planning Workshop

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Last week, councilors of the San Pedro Town Council along with advisors to the Mayor completed a three day workshop in Strategic Planning. Following the Municipal elections, the new council tasked itself with formulating a strategic plan which would set the direction and focus for the next three years and beyond. This three day workshop is the first step towards that goal.

The workshop was facilitated by Mr. Santos Mahung, member of the board of directors and a founding member of the Belize Institute of Management (BIM). According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the workshop was needed and will increase the council’s ability to function professionally. “When we came into office after the elections, I had mentioned to the councilors that we need some kind of training to be able to run the affairs of the people in a professional manner.

The training ran from Monday, April 23rd through Wednesday, April 25th. According to Mahung, the training focused on four areas of Strategic Planning; “BIM was hired with the objective of engaging the mayor, town councilors and other agents of the council in four levels of planning.  One was to illuminate the business culture of the new council. We’re talking about its philosophy, we’re talking about its vision, we’re talking about its core values, and we’re talking about the mission. In addition to that we identify stakeholders and mandates. It’s very important for the council, any council for that matter, to know who the stakeholders are, what the formal and informal mandates are, including election promises. The third thing was to establish and identify strategic priorities and objectives. The issue is that any council will get busy quite quickly. What you want to do is focus on the priorities, follow your plan and stay focused in relation to those strategic priorities and objectives. The fourth thing was to formulate an action plan, an agenda of action initiatives for the council over the next three years. So in essence what I have been doing is facilitating this process.

The training ended on Wednesday night, where all participants received their certificates of completion. In speaking of the training, Mayor Guerrero commented, “We want to provide good service to the general public.  So I appreciate the seminar that came through and I am happy that the councilors all made it through together with my two advisers. It’s a learning process and there is still more space for learning.” Mr. Mahung was very pleased at the turn out and commented, “I’ve been extremely impressed by several things. One, the commitment, we have had perfect attendance all through the three days and I’m talking beginning in the morning and going through at night, perfect attendance. This level of commitment shows that they take the job seriously. Decisive leadership and principled action; things like openness, transparence, equity and honesty are values which will come out in the San Pedro Town plan. And I will tell you I can see from the heat of the discussions how committed they are to not just the principled action but to devising a plan which will address the social and economic wellbeing of the community as well as the sustainability of the environment in the best interest of all the people who live, work and recreate here.

According to the Mayor, there is a second training scheduled for May 16th facilitated by the local government. He also informed that BIM will be coming back to give seminars to the entire office at the Council in an effort to have a better educated staff running the office.

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