The Village's Strategic Plan: Our Work in Progress
In my more recent blogs, I’ve provided you with information about the Village’s recently approved Stub Year 2020 Budget. Although the Village’s annual budget is fundamental to our operations and the services the Village provides, I wanted to touch on another tool the Village Board and staff rely upon for guidance: the Village’s Strategic Plan. Since the Village Board adopted the Plan in April 2018, the Plan has become the foundation of the Village’s continued efforts in making Glencoe the community that people choose to live, work and do business.
As I described in my first blog about the Strategic Plan shortly after it was approved, we challenged ourselves during the strategic planning process to dive deep and to identify critical issues facing the Village, as well as consider what we can do in the near-term to prepare us for the next 20 years of success. The Plan memorialized seven key areas that have historically been hallmarks for the Village as strategic priorities: financial sustainability, infrastructure replacement, community engagement, commercial vitality, operational effectiveness, organizational development and environmental sustainability. In addition, the Plan included four new strategic goals, Governance, Services and Infrastructure, Economic Development and Staffing, each of which were bolstered by specific initiatives and action items. To work towards these goals, a significant portion of our full-time Village staff (in both administrative and operations roles) are working on one or more Strategic Plan teams.
What’s important to note is that strategic plans aren’t necessarily static documents, as even the most concrete plans need to be tweaked from time to time. During the most recent Village budget development process, we evaluated our progress on the Strategic Plan. Since strategic initiatives are now embedded into staff routines, we adjusted timeframes, shuffled some of the staff teams responsible for the goals/initiative sets and realigned department work plans to balance both day-to-day responsibilities with the timeliest Plan efforts. The Strategic Plan has challenged our organization to not only work towards providing excellent services now but also for years to come.
The following are just a few of the Strategic Plan projects that have been completed or are substantially underway:
- We conducted the Village’s 2019 Community Survey, and had an excellent response rate with over 600 households participating. 99% of survey respondents rated Glencoe as an excellent or good place to live (28% above national average), among other great statistics.
- We developed comprehensive financing plans for facility rehabilitation/replacement projects, as included in the Village’s Stub Year 2020 10-Year Community Investment Program.
- We studied at length the Village’s governance structure. This analysis focused on how we operate as a non-home rule unit of government, and whether it is in our community’s best interests to consider home rule authority. Look for more on this soon.
- We are implementing recommendations from the Active Transportation Plan to improve pedestrian and bike access in Glencoe
- We are collaborating with the Village of Winnetka on a water system feasibility study to investigate long-term options for a combined water supply system
- We are working on developing a fundraising planning structure for a new Glencoe Golf Club Clubhouse through the creation of the Friends of the Glencoe Golf Club, a 501(c)(3) organization, as well as through partnering with a fundraising consultant.
These efforts, and all other Strategic Plan efforts, are critical and tie directly back to the Village’s vision and goals. Among other initiatives in the coming year, we will work to grow the Village’s economic development efforts, focus on community outreach and engagement, and enhance training and development of our staff team (fun fact: our staff is our largest investment every year, so it’s particularly important that we pay close attention to how we recruit, manage, train and retain this team).
I encourage you to review our Stub Year 2020 Strategic Plan Update, and as always, I encourage you to reach out with questions.