Westminster’s strategic plan will be finished and finalized on Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be virtual and livestreamed.
Priorities, the role of government and future tasks were all discussed during the two-day retreat on Jan. 29 and 30.
At the end of the meeting, Michelle Kennedy, with Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker who helped facilitate the discussion, commented on the competency of the council.
“The level of commitment this group has to this plan and wanting to get it right is really impressive,” she said. “The way you interact with one another is really positive.”
City Councilor Obi Ezeadi thought it was a positive weekend, but was disappointed to see many topics not included in the strategic plan.
City Councilor Lindsey Emmons felt good after the meeting.
“I feel like there’s a direction,” she said.
Mayor Nancy McNally said this retreat ranks the highest among her past years on council.
“It was the best group of seven people I’ve worked with as a team who knew how to run a strategic plan,” she said.
Interim City Manager Jody Andrews thanks the council for the direction forward.
“We’ve got a lot of direction, a lot of clarity,” he said.
One win for the weekend was the ability for city staff to stream the retreat online. That was both a request from some councilors and from the community.
“Especially with Covid running around, not everyone’s comfortable attending,” said Tom Jurgens, who suggested making the event virtual.
The Mission Statement
Discussion around the city’s mission statement triggered a conversation around what the role of government is and what core services should be provided by the government.
“Core services are things we can’t do without,” Mayor Pro Tem David DeMott said.
Ezeadi and City Councilor Sarah Nurmela called for economic resiliency to be included in the core services, but other councilors thought it should be included in other parts of the strategic plan, such as guiding principles.
The Guiding Principles raised questions among government transparency and communication.
Reading the past council’s guiding principles, councilors hinted at the words being too complicated and hard to understand.
The principles were: Collaboration, Partnership and Unity; Stewardship and Sustainability (fiscal, social, environmental – triple bottom line); Transparency; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity for all; Innovation; Cause-driven holistic solutions.
“Cause-driven holistic solutions, I have no idea what that means,” said McNally. “We need to get words that mean something to everybody.”
With the Guiding Principles, they hope to include key words and definitions to make them clearer and more comprehendible to residents
Strategic Priorities or Pillars
The strategic priorities they included are Preparedness and Resilience, Proactive Public Safety, Shared Sense of Community, Quality of Life, and Infrastructure.
Statements came along with them as well.
Preparedness and Resilience: Build a system of intentional support for residents, businesses and the environment that mitigates risks and proactively seeks out ways to ensure the community not only endures, but thrives.
Proactive Public Safety: To emphasize both prevention and enforcement enage the community through education and outreach and provide the resources necessary to ensure safety and wellbeing throughout Westminster.
Shared Sense of Community: Foster/cultivate equitable opportunity that helps residents feel at home and connected in their community and empowered to live their best lives.
Quality of Life: Ensure that Westminster offers a diverse range of amenities and activities for residents, businesses and victors that honor the city’s history and support the arts, parks, libraries, recreation, and open spaces.
Infrastructure: Provide safe and equitable access to essential services and amenities by safeguarding, maintaining and improving the city’s water, wastewater, and transportation and transit systems.
The council struggled to finalize a list of their strategic objectives due to the many issues and actions each council member brought to the table. Those will be finalized at the Feb. 22 meeting.