The City of Riverbank has Strategic Planning Sessions twice a year, with Riverbank City Council members and the mayor meeting with department heads to chart progress and establish their intentions to meet specific goals over three years.
This fall, the all-day session was held on Oct. 15 at the Riverbank Industrial Complex. The first session of the year was held in March.
The most recent three-year plan was begun in 2013 and is set to conclude next year.
The recent session was led, as in past meetings, by facilitator Marilyn Snider, of Snider and Associates, and her staff. The present goals are ‘to enhance public safety, improve and maintain infrastructure and facilities, enhance staff professionalism and customer service, achieve and maintain financial stability and retain and attract businesses to the area.’
These goals are to align with the city’s mission statement, vision statement and core values established through similar workshops in the past. Riverbank’s mission statement commits the city to providing ‘exceptional municipal services in a fiscally sound and professionally responsible manner.’
Its vision statement indicates the city will be ‘recognized as a premier community where individuals, families and businesses thrive in a safe and beautiful environment.’
The core values include ‘professionalism, transparency, teamwork, respectful behavior, fiscal responsibility, integrity and ethical behavior.’
After reviewing these guidelines, the group used a brainstorming session to discuss perceptions of strengths, accomplishments, current internal weaknesses and challenges ahead. Then they looked at the external factors that are or could be having an effect on city plans for the coming year, listing both positive and negative effects.
Following that preparation, the group worked to catalogue actions related to each specified goal, when they are scheduled to be carried out and by whom. Also, it includes a status checklist and a place for comments to both guide progress and keep track of progress on each item.
Under the ‘Enhance Public Safety’ goal, for example, five items are listed in the final report:
• An annual Non-Profit and Religious Leaders Summit to identify homeless issues;
• Present an analysis of recently enacted medical marijuana legislation to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2016;
• A report to the city council on the results of the county-wide Summit for Solutions of the Homeless Issues;
• A recommendation to the council for direction on the draft County Disaster Preparedness Plan;
• A recommendation to the council for action on a secured, universal city-wide Video Surveillance System for use by the city and private businesses.
The other three-year goals include as many as nine tasks of similar complexity.
In addition to these bi-annual planning workshops, city management keeps track of progress on the goals. Action items on its meeting agendas include mention of what values or goals a positive vote will meet for the city.