City of Edmonds to begin city-wide strategic planning process with retreat Sept.14

In an effort to develop a roadmap for city projects and priorities, the City of Edmonds will kick off a city-wide Strategic Planning process the evening of Sept. 14, and citizens are encouraged to attend.

The workshop (also known as Retreat #1) will involve members of the Edmonds City Council, Planning Board and Economic Development Commission and will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 250 5th Ave. N. The retreat and strategic planning process will be facilitated by Tom Beckwith of Beckwith Consulting Group.

The proposal to develop a strategic plan is one of six recommended higher priority initiatives that the City’s Economic Development Commission and Planning Board presented to the City Council in early 2010. To frame the issue, Community Services and Economic Development Director Stephen Clifton sent out a press release to describe not only what a strategic plan is, but what it is not. What follows is his message:

“The foundations of strategic planning are statements the City makes that describe WHO we are, WHERE we want to go, HOW we will strive for our goals and MEASURE success over time. While the City of Edmonds plans on many levels, primarily for elements tied to the City Comprehensive Plan, and while these elements involve strategic planning for particular areas, an overall city strategic plan is different: It serves as a community’s roadmap and is used to prioritize initiatives, resources, goals, and department operations and projects. As such, it helps prioritize and organize efforts based on community consensus within an observable and trackable timeline. In this way, a strategic plan guides near-term progress towards achieving long-term visions.

“Having an adopted strategic plan is as important to a community’s future as architectural plans are to building a home. A Strategic Plan is a crucial tool for city decision makers and can be used to shape decisions by establishing a framework for setting priorities and informing leadership about citizens’ priorities. It is a tool that helps ensure the most effective use of a city’s limited resources by focusing the resources on key priorities. Developed in concert with its citizens and various stakeholders, a strategic plan helps city leaders allocate limited resources to programs that matter most to a community.”

Following the Sept. 14 retreat, the City and its consultants plan to engage the entire Edmonds community in developing a strategic plan over a nine-month time frame. “Establishing a process that ensures broad community input is essential to the credibility of a strategic plan and its success,” Clifton said. “By conducting interviews, hosting open houses and workshops, meeting folks one-on-one, and conducting surveys, the City is hoping to use community input to develop a strategic plan that helps city leadership to make decisions with the confidence that they are responding to the citizens’ stated desires.”

In addition, Clifton said, the City will develop web pages devoted to the strategic planning process and will also post notices of community meetings and related events on the City’s government television channel.

  1. It’s good to see this process moving forward. In case anyone is curious, here are the members of these two groups, many of whom are regular commenters here:

    Economic Development Commissioners:

    Frank Yamamoto – Chair
Stacey Gardea – Vice Chair

    Bruce Faires
Bill Vance

    Kerry St. Clair Ayers

    Marianne Burkhart

    Darrol Haug

    Mary Monfort

    Rich Senderoff

    Rebecca Wolfe

    Bruce Witenberg

    Tim Crosby 

    Evan Pierce

    Evelyn Wellington
Don Hall
Beatrice O’Rourke

    David Schaefer

    Paul Anderson

    Planning Board members:

    Phil Lovell (Chair)
    John Reed (Vice Chair)
    Todd Cloutier
    Valerie Stewart
    Kristiana Johnson
    Kevin Clarke

  2. Joe, I agree that the SP will be a great addition to the visioning process for Edmonds. Interestingly it was the Planning Board and the EDC who spent a great deal of time and work on the Developmental Agreement Process that was recently discussed by council. Council seemed to reject much of the work that these two groups had done. Hopefully as the SP moves forward with input from all the citizens the council will take notice. Hopefully the Council will take to heart what comes from the SP process and not just put it on the shelf to gather dust. I actually heard one council member say that he/she was not going to participate in the workshops. I guess we will see on the 14th who show up and who actually participates. It will be a public meeting so all are welcome to attend.

  3. Teresa,

    I can’t find in your article what time on September 14 the workshop begins. One might assume a start time of 7 PM, but it would be good to know for sure.


  4. SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
    Special Meeting
    Joint Meeting of the City Council, Planning Board and
    Economic Development Commission
    Location: Council Chambers
    Topic: Strategic Planning Process Kick-off – Retreat No.1 2 Hours

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