The Turlock City Council discussed key issues in the third workshop focused on creating the 2011-2013 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan process started back in December, 2010 and January, 2011, with a facilitated team building workshop with City Council, City Manager, and the City Attorney. The workshops resulted in direction to staff to review and update the Strategic Plan which was presented in draft form to the City Council at a March 14, 2011, Special City Council Meeting.
The most recent draft presented to council contained a number of policy initiatives identified by City Council as well as specific goals and objectives to support those initiatives. Often Strategic Plans can become stale documents in which the goals are never achieved because objectives and strategies are not identified to reach the desired goals. The City of Turlock Strategic plan hopes that through a systematic methodology that goals, objectives and strategies reached through City Council policy initiatives will ultimately fulfill the City’s Vision Statement.
The Turlock Strategic Plan 2007-09 was last reviewed in 2007 when it was adopted and there has not been an updated version since its expiration date.
Roy Wasden, Turlock City Manager, opened the discussion stating that the purpose of the strategic plan was a guiding document for staff.
"Clearly as we go forward with our budget process, which we will be starting on early again this year, this plan will be instrumental in helping us prioritize budget needs," said Wasden.
The seven specific policy initiatives of the City of Turlock Strategic Plan were presented to the Council on September 27, 2011, and included: effective leadership; fiscal responsibility; public safety; municipal infrastructure; economic development; intelligent, planned, managed growth and social infrastructure. Each initiative was defined and contains specific goals and objectives that support the implementation of the policy initiatives.
City Council decisions are made with thoughtful consideration of all facts and input to reach an "informed consensus" that are "interest-based" meaning they focus on the desired outcome that addresses the interests of all stakeholders. In order to achieve this, council and staff commit to hold themselves to a high standard of performance and behavior. The standards include:
1) Clarity of Purpose and Vision
2) Accountability for Measurable Results
3) Individual Behavior that is approachable, flexible and adaptable
4) Follow through and communication with Council/Staff/Community
5) Organizational Commitment
6) Active and Informed Involvement
7) Commitment to give credit
8) Open, Two-Way Communication
9) Follow Chain of Command
10) Be Open to New Ideas and Change
Financial stewardship requires a balance between investment, revenue management, and cost control that is intent to be fiscally lean without giving up organizational investment and service development that ensures competency and creates value. The fiscal goals include:
1) Create a "lean" yet completely effective City government organization
2) Identify smart revenue opportunities
3) Maximize value within department budgets
4) Develop value-added partnerships with California State University Stanislaus
5) Identify alternative sources of funding
6) Create a balanced, sustainable budget within 36 months
The City is committed to ensuring the safety of our citizens and preservation of our community and culture through Police and Fire Services by maintaining appropriate staff levels and the resources needed to effectively carry out their mission. Fire and Emergency Services goals include:
1) Deliver prompt and professional service to all we serve with pride and compassion
2) Provide station locations that enhance appropriate response times with appropriate staffing and equipment
3) Always strive to enhance our effectiveness with staffing levels that match community needs and desires for emergency mitigation
4) Continue looking for ways to enhance our funding from either local/state government, property related revenue generators and grants
5) Continue our apparatus replacement program that retires apparatus when reliable services is jeopardized
6) Work to develop and implement strategic priorities that were identified in the department planning process in September 2010
7) Work with contiguous fire agencies to develop good relationships, and seek opportunities to work together to maximize the efficient fire service delivery model
8) Develop a consolidated plan with the Police Department Support Services Division to help provide service to the Fire Department
9) Work with our business community to provide them prompt and efficient service, and to help businesses be successful with their projects
Managed growth and foresight ensures that essential infrastructure keeps pace with existing needs and provides for future development. As a result residents, businesses and visitors can rely on consistent, quality water and sewer services, well maintained streets and roads, adequate interchange access and a variety of transit options. The goals include:
1) Identify avenues to address current deficiencies (general fund, grants, ballot initiatives, assessment districts):
– Sidewalks, Urban Forest, Public Buildings, County Islands, Storm Drainage, Streets, Water and Sewer, and Street Lighting
2) Address growth-related issues:
– Surface Water, Waste Water, Interchanges, Transportation Systems, Storm Water Management, and Bike Paths
3) Develop and execute a Municipal Services Strategic Plan
– Water, Wastewater, and Storm Water
Intelligent, Planned, Managed Growth
Our Master, General and Specific Plans reflect the long term vision and foresight of City Council and for staff to ensure that the growth of our City, infrastructure, and services evolve in a deliberate, guided, international manner. The goals include:
1) Ensure all growth adds value to the current and future community
2) Continue use of Specific and Master Plans
3) Ensure that all new growth pays for itself (assessment districts, CFF/PAF, CFD funding mechanisms)
4) Provide for housing diversity (affordable and transitional housing)
5) Create long-term, value-added plan for in-fill development
6) Ensure all growth and development reflects balanced land use
We are a community of people with varied backgrounds, talents and economic status. Our neighborhood housing, culture and youth recreation programs contribute to quality of life in our community and provide opportunities for all of our citizens. The goals include:
1) Develop Regional Youth/South Turlock sports complex
2) Expand number of available recreation facilities
3) Increase neighborhood services (nuisance abatement, etc)
4) Build new community center, teen/youth center and a indoor/outdoor aquatic center
5) Promote private investment in recreational facilities
6) Complete the construction of the Carnegie Arts Center
7) Build new or second Library
8) Complete the construction of the Public Safety Facility
9) Address Housing concerns (home rehabilitation, homelessness, transitional housing, and downtown housing options)
It was recommended by Council to pull all facility related goals from Social Infrastructure and create a new section specific to these needs. Within that section goals may include feasibility studies, rehabilitation options for existing buildings and exploring partnership options.
Community Programs and Facilities and Infrastructure
Manage community recreation programs, growth and foresight ensuring that essential infrastructure keeps pace with existing and anticipated needs. The goals include:
1) Community Infrastructure
– Strive to provide safe and well maintained sidewalks through City Sidewalk Repair Program
– Strive to maintain and promote the City’s Urban Forest through Street Tree Program
– Strive to provide safe and well maintained facilities
– Strive to provide safe and well maintained park facilities
– Strive to provide safe and well maintained streets
2) Community Programs
– Strive to promote the usage of existing sports and recreation facilities
– Strive to support community youth by providing quality after school opportunities
– Strive to provide youth and senior recreation scholarships to assist underserved populations
– Strive to develop ongoing community partnerships, collaborations, and sponsorships which will result in enhanced programming and services for the community
– Strive to provide excellent recreation, social, and educational programs which promote youth enrichment, supports family relationships and provide a safe deterrent to negative behaviors.
In addition to the key areas already identified the Council recommended that staff add a section specific to Roads. Although mention of streets and roads fall into many of the categories already discussed, Council felt that considering the amount of dollars going to fund road repair is falling behind annually that it would be a good idea to have it in the strategic plan. With goals, objectives, and strategies specific to road repair, the council hopes that progress can be made in this area as well as the others discussed.
"There are so many ways that we can cross-pollinate and leverage our programs and services. It can be with any of our goals such as Youth Sports,” Councilman Bill DeHart. “We want to send a message that this is Turlock, this is what we do and we like it."
"We need to make sure that our services are available to all of our citizens and businesses,” said Councilwoman Amy Bublak. “If we have a special marketing service then that service needs to be available to all.”
The next meeting has already been reserved for another workshop so that changes can be made and the document can be finalized.
Mayor John Lazar ended the workshop by saying, "I’m very pleased that we came together to complete this process. We all have the common interest of moving our community forward. Thank you for your patience and for your participation."