The Common Council included a strategic plan in the City Administrator’s 2013 work plan. The City Administrator outlined the original objective of the strategic planning process in a statement from March 15, 2013. He stated the purpose of the plan is to, "Create an in-depth issue-based strategic plan with integrated actions designed to create a performance-driven and competitive organization."
Four key points were identified by the City Administrator to increase the likelihood of having an effective strategic plan:
- Identify from interviews with executive level staff and Council a list of key issues or opportunities and constraints that will be discussed and prioritized. A desired outcome is to build internal consensus on these issues.
- Develop a strategic planning process that is based on fiscal and political realities.
- Develop a strategic plan that is specific, measurable, timely, achievable and realistic.
- Develop a system of input and output metrics to measure and monitor strategic targets.
The City was invested in a strategic planning process that was designed to create a new five-year strategic plan. As is well documented, over the past several years, the City has adopted successful planning tools that will shape its foundation for the future. The City has undertaken a variety of analyzes, studies and planning documents including, but not limited to, a five-year general fund forecast; five-year capital plan; Village Plan; North Avenue Plan; Burleigh Triangle Plan; Hart Park Plan; Innovation Campus Plan; Economic Development Plan and a City Hall Master Plan. In addition, "We have embraced a series of organizational reviews including: citizen survey; compensation study; LEAN team; and Council issues survey. Finally, we have conducted efficiency studies of our operations, including the Fire, Engineering and Administration departments."
The intent of the strategic planning process is to mold and shape all of these important documents into a single inter-dependent plan.
The information was assimilated into a series of draft strategies that were presented to the Common Council. The discussion combined the fiscal realities with the community priorities. Ultimately, the Council adopted the plan on April 1, 2014. The plan included high-level visions, strategies and goals with specific and achievable action steps. This final plan sets the City's strategic direction for the next five years.