The City Council took the final step in approving the 2011-2013 Turlock Strategic Plan at a Special City Council Meeting on Tuesday night. The plan has been in the works since December 2010 with several workshops between then and now.
There were few changes made from the last meeting reviewing the 2011-2013 Turlock Strategic Plan including a few wording changes and clarification of economic development goals and highlights of the plan.
Councilwoman Amy Bublak pointed out that the wording in describing how the City should run when using the word "lean" should be changed due to the potential for a negative connotation, particularly for City employees that could feel that it means jobs will be cut. Turlock City Manager Roy Wasden, recommended replacing it with the word efficient so that it reads "efficient yet effective."
There was also discussion of the use of the word “consensus,” as not every decision is going to be a unanimous vote.
"We do represent the people of our city,” stated Councilman Bill DeHart. “Even if it is a divergent view point from the majority, it needs to be expressed."
The wording was ultimately changed to "informed agreement’ recognizing the direction will reflect the will of the majority of the council.
Economic Development discussion regarding the strategic plan addressed questions about the goals and clarification of some of them. The first of which was condensing down 3 goals into one goal that shows that the council is concerned about providing a balanced community. Two downtown goals were merged into one community wide goal reading:
– Explore Value-Added Opportunities and providing a balanced community between restaurants, entertainment, housing, business and special events for:
i) Turlock Regional Industrial Park
iii) Convention & Visitors Bureau
iv) Business & Recruitment
v) Community Rehabilitation
vi) Turlock Municipal Airport
vii) California State University, Stanislaus
viii) Turlock Unified School District
Other economic development goals clarified included: 1) the need for website improvements and 2) analyzing investment versus return. Councilwoman Bublak wanted to know if continued website improvement were needed considering it was just redesigned in 2009.
"We recognize that our website is an important component and sincerely believe that we need to have a better more effective website," said Wasden.
Councilman Forrest White was concerned that analyzing economic development strictly on Return on Investment was more of a business function and not always appropriate for government.
"Government doesn’t necessarily work for a financial return,” said Councilman White. “Sometimes a return is the benefit to our citizens."
City Manager Wasden summarized the staff’s intentions of following the Council’s direction through use of the strategic plan.
"Staff will consider this plan as we work on our budget items and as we do our normal business to make sure that this is a living document."
Councilman Bill DeHart asked staff if they had any final input on the strategic plan and stated, "We are a team."
DeHart’s statement received an immediate response from Mayor Lazar as he said, "Thank you for using that word. It’s been a long time since I have heard from a fellow Council Member say that we are a team."
All department heads took a moment to emphasize that they too were happy to have this document and how it will help them better their individual department’s strategic plans.
Interim Police Chief, Dave Young, said "It gives staff something to strive for and makes us work toward achieving the goals in the plan."
The Turlock City Council voted unanimously to approve and adopt the Turlock Strategic Plan 2011-2013.