Staunton agrees on new vision statement and list of city priorities

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STAUNTON – Over a month ago, the city council met and held a retreat that refined their priorities, goals and cooperative skills to better serve the city.

Now the retirement report is out and all of the town’s future exploits are in writing.

The report will serve as a roadmap for board members and staff to work together and achieve goals in the years to come. It will also help keep the public informed of upcoming efforts.

Here are the main takeaways and how the results could impact future city plans.

Priorities on paper

The first element of the report presented to the board was the vision statement. The new vision reads as follows:

“A historic and culturally rich city with an exciting future of innovation, growth and resilience.”

In addition, council members proposed that the slogan be “You belong here”.

Carolyn Dull pointed out that Harrisonburg recently revealed her slogan, which was also “You belong here”. After a few chuckles in disbelief, the board said they came up with it first and the meeting continued. Then he discussed Staunton’s goals.

There were hundreds of words scribbled on the walls of the city council retreat in August, but the official report reduced attention to some key points the council will consider working on over the next few years.

First on the list was infrastructure.

The town of Staunton will receive $ 12.9 million in federal funds to offset the negative impacts of the American Rescue Plan Act. The retirement report suggests that a percentage of the funds should be spent on city infrastructure. The funds are committed by the end of 2024, the report says.

Additionally, the infrastructure section of the report recognizes the city’s desire to focus on stormwater management.

“In response to the devastating floods of August 2020 that resulted in 166 damage reports estimated at $ 3.1 million, City staff have since worked on a flood mitigation strategy. The first step was the Wiley | Wilson study that the Board was briefed on at their May 27, 2021 meeting, ”the report said. “City Council was briefed again on August 26, 2021, received several recommendations from staff, and provided feedback and approval to move forward with those recommendations. “

The second strategic area was economic development, which included reviewing corridor overlay regulations and adjusting and improving the philosophy and incentive program for economic development.

In the Responsive and Efficient Government category, the city offered to work on staff training, development and growth of a workplace that reflects the community it serves.

The West End occupied much of the city’s action plan, and Staunton staff highlighted various efforts to revitalize the neighborhood, including a vision plan, marketing strategies and direction signs.

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The last strategic area listed by city staff was labeled “Built environment”. The section focused on the analysis of the space requirements of the police department, the analysis of the fire department facilities, the planning of the streetscape, the assessments of school and public works facilities and the analysis of the l city-wide space.

The plan also addressed the values ​​and operating principles that the board and staff should follow. The council proposed 11 upon retirement, but city staff narrowed it down to five categories:

  • integrity
  • inclusion and equity
  • Excellency
  • commitment
  • aware of the environment

Moving forward

In addition to the strategic areas, each proposed goal included an accountability section so that the city could keep track of who was responsible for the progress of projects, a metric category to determine how the city would measure project progress, a estimated cost section and a general schedule.

Many sections have not yet been completed simply because the projects have not officially started and the action plan has not been confirmed.

According to Deputy City Manager Leslie Bureaugard, city staff will present the report to council at a subsequent meeting for approval as a formal plan of action. In addition, she proposed that the city could establish teams to tackle each strategic area.

After the discussion, Bureagard said the city will return to council after 6 months with an update on the progress of the city plan.

Board approval of the plan is expected to take place at a future board meeting.

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– Alison Cutler (she / she) is the government watch reporter at The News Leader. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Contact Alison at acutler@newsleader.com and follow her on Twitter at @ alisonjc2.

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