With Strategic Plan In Place, Time For Action
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.