CITY of Greater Bendigo councillors have encouraged residents to give feedback on the draft Council Plan 2013-2017.
Councillors unanimously voted to release the plan for comment at Wednesday's meeting.
The ambitious plan details future plans for the region across the next four years and includes several specific outcomes council will aim to meet.
Cr Rod Campbell said he supported the plan, which he said was full of "tremendous initiatives".
"I encourage all ratepayers to have a look at it and make their contribution to it," he said.
Cr Rod Fyffe said it was important the council and community worked together to "achieve an even better Bendigo".
Crs Peter Cox, Helen Leach and Elise Chapman did not attend the meeting.
Cr Cox said the plan was among the most important documents the council produced and should be released for public comment at an ordinary, advertised council meeting.
However chief executive Craig Niemann said special meetings were part of council process.
"We have a council obligation to provide the council plan for public consultation and want to tie it in with the release of the budget," he said.
"This is one of the most important documents for council and we would normally do it in time with a ordinary council meeting but this year the timing didn't work out like that."
He said the council was required to have the plan finalised by June 30 and needed 28 days of public comment.
"To be able to do this and receive public comment and make changes, which takes two months, we needed to hold it this week," he said.
"We don't just create a special meeting because we want to - we're trying to get the process right".
The next two special meetings are planned for May 21 and June 25.
The council budget will also be discussed at a special meeting soon.