With Strate­gic Plan In Place, Time For Ac­tion

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kut­ter

FARM­ING­TON — City lead­ers have fin­ished their strate­gic plan­ning process to guide them for the next 5-10 years and the up­com­ing steps will be to take ac­tion on some of the items in the plan, con­sul­tant Teresa Ray said in hand­ing over copies of the city’s Strate­gic Plan­ning Re­port Sum­mary.

“This is the part where you’ve done the thought process, heard from the com­mu­nity, you pri­or­i­tize it and now you do some­thing,” Ray told the mayor, City Coun­cil mem­bers and de­part­ment heads with the city of Farm­ing­ton. “We hand it over to you and you make de­ci­sions on what you’re go­ing to do with it. This is your road map.”

The Coun­cil and oth­ers met in two work ses­sions ear­lier this year with Ray and Me­gan An­der­son of Fo­cused on F.A.C.T.S. (Fu­el­ing Ad­van­tage by Chal­leng­ing Tal­ent for Suc­cess). The city spon­sored a pub­lic in­put meet­ing in June, ask­ing res­i­dents to give their in­put on how they want the com­mu­nity to look in the fu­ture.

Ray took the in­for­ma­tion from all the meet­ings and pre­sented a sum­mary re­port to city lead­ers on Sept. 27.

An­der­son said the city’s next five steps are to (1) re­view the re­port, (2) de­ter­mine the pri­or­ity of the items, (3) de­velop a re­al­is­tic time­line for im­ple­ment­ing items, (4) fi­nal­ize re­spon­si­bil­ity and own­er­ship and (5) take ac­tion.

Ray said the re­port did not in­clude one rec­om­men­da­tion she felt was im­por­tant.

“One of the things that didn’t come up in your brain­storm­ing was how to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter with your com­mu­nity,” Ray said. “That’s a gap and peo­ple were re­ally in­ter­ested in what’s go­ing on.”

She en­cour­aged city lead­ers to dis­cuss ways to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter with the com­mu­nity, whether it’s through up­dat­ing the city web­site, a news­let­ter, so­cial me­dia or other av­enues.

Mayor Ernie Penn said it will be im­por­tant to iden­tify how peo­ple in the com­mu­nity get their in­for­ma­tion. Penn plans to be­come a full­time mayor in Jan­uary and he said he be­lieves it will be eas­ier for the city when he is avail­able full-time to work on some of the items in the strate­gic plan­ning re­port.

The re­port shows that some of the goals and items iden­ti­fied by city lead­ers and the pub­lic al­ready are in the process of be­ing ful­filled or are on a to-do list for the city. These in­clude more park­ing at Creek­side Park, widen­ing High­way 170, a new pub­lic works build­ing, ex­pand­ing the po­lice de­part­ment and pub­lic li­brary and hav­ing a full-time mayor.

One of the rec­om­men­da­tions was to cod­ify the city’s or­di­nances and this item is ready for the next step to be im­ple­mented, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Based on feed­back, Ray and An­der­son made rec­om­men­da­tions to as­sign items to spe­cific com­mit­tees or the Coun­cil to dis­cuss and de­cide any fu­ture ac­tion. These items in­clude:

Parks & Recre­ation Com­mit­tee

Con­nect bike trails from Kessler Park to the city park.

Neigh­bor­hood parks.

Dog park, wa­ter park, soc­cer field, skate park.

Con­nect side­walks from high school to ju­nior high.

In­crease af­ter school and sum­mer ac­tiv­i­ties.

Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee

Green in­dus­try, such as light fac­tory, tech com­pa­nies.

Pro­vide in­cen­tives for new busi­nesses.

Street Com­mit­tee

Im­prove roads, such as An­gus Lane, Old Farm­ing­ton, Clyde Carnes, Al­berta Street.

Con­cern over fu­ture in­creased traf­fic from Farm­ing­ton Heights sub­di­vi­sion.

Pre­serve coun­try ef­fect on Dou­ble Springs Road.

City Coun­cil

Add code en­force­ment of­fi­cer

En­force or­di­nances, such as sign, junk and an­i­mal or­di­nances.

Up­date city or­di­nances by city at­tor­ney.

Ex­pand li­brary to in­clude meet­ing spa­ces, out­door spa­ces, am­phithe­ater. Items that did not fall un­der a spe­cific com­mit­tee in­clude a city square, city beau­ti­fi­ca­tion and city fes­ti­vals.

An­der­son re­minded the lead­ers that as they make plans to im­ple­ment some of the ideas “noth­ing hap­pens by ac­ci­dent. Suc­cess is in­ten­tional.”

She also told them to make sure their pri­or­i­ties are re­al­is­tic be­cause ev­ery­one is al­ready in­volved with work, fam­ily and other obli­ga­tions, not­ing, “life gets in the way.”

Ray added that as they take ac­tion, “bring your city lead­ers to­gether, see how your com­mu­nity feels about it and then go do it.”

This is the sec­ond strate­gic plan that Ray has fa­cil­i­tated for the city of Farm­ing­ton. In 2012, the city de­cided to fo­cus on four ma­jor ar­eas in plan­ning for the fu­ture: com­mu­ni­ca­tion, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, city ser­vices and city rev­enues.

“What’s unique about Farm­ing­ton is that you get stuff done,” Ray told the city lead­ers. “I think peo­ple care about this com­mu­nity.”

Penn agreed, say­ing Farm­ing­ton has been “very good” about hav­ing five to six goals, ac­com­plish­ing those goals and then go­ing for­ward with new goals.

LYNN KUT­TER EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

Teresa Ray with Fo­cused on F.A.C.T.S. (Fu­el­ing Ad­van­tage by Chal­leng­ing Tal­ent for Suc­cess) talks with city lead­ers about their fi­nal strat­egy plan­ning re­port.

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