December 28, 2023

Ready for Another Busy Year Ahead

The city organization is in a really good place right now.  We’ve filled a ton of vacancies over the past year, which has allowed our departments to thrive rather than just survive.  Among recent new hires is an Assistant City Manager, who as a licensed PE will also serve as in-house City Engineer.  For the City Manager, being all set with her team is huge as she’ll finally have some breathing room to focus on the big-picture strategy that’s central to her job description.  As we welcome a new Mayor and Council at the start of 2024, city staff have already turned the page and are eager to get after it and tackle the work at hand.

Topping the list is the second phase of our Regional Drainage Improvement Program.  Having completed the engineering this year under Work Order #1, we’ve got actionable projects and a compelling case for the outside funding that will be needed to get underway with implementation.  Aside from engineering and funding, we’ll also have to come up with the required detention.  Being landlocked and fully built out we don’t have a lot of options, and are going to have to get creative.  The next Council will be asked to pick up where we left off, with Work Order #2.

Methodist has presented a revised planned development proposal, after we said “not yes” to the original application.  It’s currently pending before the Planning and Zoning Commission for their recommendation to Council.  Meanwhile, our Comprehensive Plan Review is ongoing and will also be coming back soon for P&Z’s and Council’s consideration.

Those are but a few of the higher profile items that will command a lot of attention early in the new term.  Staff’s activities this fiscal year, in furtherance of Council’s policy direction, are mapped out in great detail in the FY 2024 Strategic Plan Task List, broken down by focus area and by department and quarter.  Of note are the Public Works administration building and Library conceptual designs, pursuant to the Facilities Master Plan.  Our having already committed to it, staff are continuing to prepare for construction of the new dog pound facility.  The utility cost-of-service and formal compensation studies previously deferred should be ready in time for next year’s budget process.  Staff will also be undertaking a review to identify future needs, options and associated costs to inform Council’s decision making concerning the wastewater treatment plant.

Add to the foregoing whatever ideas the incoming Mayor and Council will bring to the table.  Our strategic planning model provides an organized framework for prioritizing, scheduling and tracking progress on all the various initiatives we’ve got going at any point in time, and the next Council will take ownership of that and make it their own.  Staff are arranging more of the professionally facilitated workshops that have proven so beneficial in the past, to assist them in that process and help ensure their success.  They will also be conducting a citizen satisfaction survey to get public input on city services, programs and amenities, to aid in updating and refining the plan.

As you can see we’re ready for another busy year ahead, with all the excitement and enthusiasm the start of a new Council term brings.  On behalf of your City Council, City Manager and staff, we thank you for the privilege of serving you and for your continued support as we work together in advancing the community’s objectives into 2024 and beyond.