March 9, 2023

Putting Policy Into Action

Strategic planning is an ongoing process, as city staff constantly look to Council’s policy direction to guide their day-to-day activities.  It also benefits Council’s own decision making by providing structure and promoting consistency, serving as the essential link between individual decisions and our identified, broader objectives.

This year, the City Manager moved up on the schedule the professionally facilitated planning sessions typically associated with the start of budget season.  Her purpose:  for Council to build upon and flesh out the Strategic Focus Areas we adopted last year, and to develop specific goals, strategies and tasks that will help staff put Council’s policy direction into action.

After first reviewing and confirming we’re still happy with our six Strategic Focus Areas, Council crafted by consensus a goal statement for each (these are in draft form, subject to further revision):


Through city services, programs, amenities, and partnerships, actively cultivate a sense of community, unity, and togetherness while celebrating, respecting, and valuing diversity.


Deliver municipal services in an environmentally conscious, efficient, responsive, consistent, fair, transparent, inclusive, and fiscally sound manner by governing through clear policy direction and supporting the City Manager and staff with the resources necessary to do their jobs well.


Maintain reliable services by taking a long-term, programmatic, and financially sustainable approach to infrastructure maintenance and replacement.

Public Safety

Deliver responsive and visible public safety services that protect people and property, deter crime, and foster a sense of safety and well-being.

Quality of Life

Provide services and amenities that make Bellaire a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family.

Land Use and Zoning

Set a long-term land use and zoning vision for the City that protects our neighborhoods and enhances our commercial areas, with predictable expectations and standards for development activities, and consistent enforcement of zoning regulations.

Following Council’s planning session the staff leadership team had their own, in which they began brainstorming strategies for the implementation of these goals, and actual tasks to be undertaken over the coming fiscal year in furtherance of those strategies.  Next month we’ll have a joint planning session to continue to refine this work and to ensure alignment between Council and staff.  Ultimately it will all be documented in a FY 2024 Strategic Plan to be formally adopted by Council, and in time for staff to utilize it in preparing a proposed budget.