May 16, 2023

FY 2024-26 Strategic Plan

Though often overlooked and underappreciated, strategic planning is a big part of what we do.  Indeed, it’s at the very heart of our role under the council-manager form of government.  Council sets the big-picture policy direction, which the City Manager and staff then execute in their daily work.

Council’s adoption of a fiscal year 2024-26 Strategic Plan represents a next-level enhancement to our existing strategic planning model.  It adds a new layer of granularity, with goal statements to further articulate Council’s Strategic Focus Areas and strategies for an organized approach to their implementation.  Most significant, it lays out a list of specific tasks that staff came up with, and Council approved, as a menu of sorts to choose from over a rolling three-year period.

It is not a guarantee that each of these tasks will actually be realized—funding must still be allocated in annual budgets and future spending decisions made by Council.  Nor is the list necessarily exclusive.  It can and will change over time as needs and circumstances arise.

The Plan came together through a series of professionally facilitated workshops over the past few months, with each iteration building on those before it and on the Strategic Focus Areas previously adopted.  The most notable change was to pull out Quality of Life from the focus areas, as it became evident it was the common theme underlying all the rest, converting it instead to an overall purpose statement:

Our Purpose

The City of Bellaire’s purpose is to enhance the
quality of life for its citizens by providing services and
amenities that make Bellaire a great place to live,
work, play, and raise a family.

From that starting point the document flows logically.  The goals, strategies and tasks set forth how we intend to fulfill our Quality of Life purpose.  It provides a three-year roadmap for staff to follow in their day-to-day operations and to help them ensure they’re allocating resources in alignment with Council direction.  As an adopted policy document the Plan is also a communication to our public, and has been designed and published with that in mind.

Having started our planning sessions early this year, the adoption of the Strategic Plan keeps us on schedule in the development of the FY 2024 budget.  Next up, we’ll be having our traditional pre-budget planning workshop this Thursday, May 18, in the CenterPoint Energy Community Center.