The City of Great Bend ended six months of self reflection Monday night as the City Council signed off on a three-year strategic plan, covering everything from economic development to community appearance to quality of life.
“The proposed goals, which are above and beyond the normal day-to-day activities required to run the city, clearly define the council’s priorities and give direction to staff on the path for our immediate future,” City Administrator Kendal Francis said.
In February, the city began the strategic planning process with public input and input from city personnel. The resulting plan established seven goals, each with a series of objectives.
The effort included one-on-one meetings with city council members and senior staff, three separate community stakeholder groups and a citizen survey, all aimed at eliciting input for the plan. Those efforts culminated in April with city council and staff meeting with facilitator for a two-day retreat to develop a draft.
After that, city administrators refined the draft and presented it to council at the July 15 work session. A few minor changes were made.
This past December, the Great Bend City Council approved a contract with the Austin Peters Group of Overland Park for strategic planning at a cost of $10,867.50. The project got underway after the first of the year.
Councilman Brock McPherson moved to table action until the second meeting in September. He felt the council had been inundated with information to read in advance and he hadn’t had time to read the plan thoroughly.
However, his motion died for lack of a second.
Others on the council noted the version of the plan mailed to council members prior to the meeting was the same as had been discussed during the July 15 study session, and wanted to proceed with the vote.
It passed seven to one, with McPherson the lone no vote.
The Strategic Plan centers around the mission statement: “To provide exceptional customer service and quality city services needed to promote a safe, vibrant, economically thriving city with a high quality of life.” It focuses on PRIDE (Professionalism, Responsibility and accountability, Innovation and teamwork, Diversity and engagement, and Ethics and integrity.
There are seven goals, each with several objectives and time lines for the objectives to be accomplished. The goals include:
• Economic development. To develop and support a vibrant local economy that focuses on retention, recruitment and expansion of businesses and industry.
• City government. To become a transparent, well-functioning city government that encourages participation and involvement of all citizens.
• Infrastructure. To provide infrastructure in the most efficient and equitable manner, consistent with sound environmental growth.
• Community appearance and housing. To improve and sustain community aesthetics.
• Public safety. To provide adequate public safety to include fully staffed and trained personnel, facilities, resources and marketing.
• Community quality of life and amenities. To improve the quality of life for citizens and develop and maintain city and area amenities (parks and recreation; natural resources including trails, biking, and natural areas; community events and festivals).
• Community marketing. To promote the image of the city and community to citizens and outsiders.