It’s official: The City Council formally adopted Bartlesville’s first City Strategic Plan on Tuesday.
The plan, which focuses on financial excellence, economic growth, infrastructure and community partnership, outlines the City’s vision, mission and values and identifies strategic priorities and key objectives that will guide City operations over the next three to five years.
In a unanimous vote during its regularly scheduled meeting on July 5, the council voted to support the plan, which is the product of several steps taken since March.
Those steps included the creation of a steering committee, which was tasked with creating the plan with the help of consultant, The Mejorando Group. The committee consisted of Bartlesville Mayor Dale Copeland and City Manager Mike Bailey, as well as six City department directors. The group attended several workshop sessions over a three-month period following several meetings in March to obtain input from the public, City Council members and City employees, as well as an online survey and a social media campaign.
“With Patrick’s guidance, the team put a lot of effort into looking at who we are as a City, where we’ve been and where we want to go, and what the public expects from us and how we might meet or address those expectations,” said Bailey. “These sessions permitted us to think outside the box a bit, to be more proactive as an organization and not as reactive, which tends to be the default for most municipalities. We’re so used to spending our time responding to problems that we rarely have an opportunity to look ahead.”
Vision, Mission, Values
A Leading Community by Choice
“It’s only a few words, but we spent a lot of time nailing down the precise wording of the vision,” said Bailey. “We wanted something that describes who we are but also who we want to be — not only for the City as an organization but for the community overall.”
Bailey said themes of “Leadership” and “Choice” emerged as the group considered information gathered through the public meetings.
“Bartlesville residents clearly look to the City to provide leadership in the community, and they overwhelmingly told us that, in general, they are here because they want to be — because they choose to be. We felt it was important to represent both in the City’s vision.”
Through collaboration, we strive to provide exceptional public services and enhance the distinctive character of our community.
“The mission is pretty self-explanatory,” said Bailey. “We really wanted to emphasize collaboration and partnership, and that applies to our workforce as well as inter-departmentally and within the community.”
Integrity, Community, Service, Teamwork, Communication, Innovative
“Our primary function as a municipality always has been and will continue to be to provide exceptional services to our citizens — water, sewer, sanitation and public safety,” said Bailey. “But we also wanted this plan to challenge us to accomplish more, to go beyond our primary functions and play a larger role in the community overall. That is reflected in the mission and values, as well as in other areas of the plan.”
The values concepts are perhaps best outlined in the plan’s Strategic Priorities, which provide the roadmap for moving forward, Bailey said.
- Financial Strength and Operational Excellence
- Economic Vitality
- Effective Infrastructure Network
- Community Character
- Emerging Issues
“Most of the priorities we identified are in-line with what most people expect from local government: financial prudence, economic growth, infrastructure, and quality of life issues, including parks and other recreational facilities,” Bailey said.
“One area that is a little outside our usual operation is something we termed ‘Emerging Issues.’ These are growing challenges faced by our community where we have traditionally not played much of a role — things like child care, affordable housing, and homelessness.
“Frustrations in these particular areas came through loud and clear during the public meetings that were held to obtain input for this plan. We felt it was important to let the citizens know that we heard them, and we intend to play a larger role to address their concerns than we have in the past. We don’t know exactly what that will look like, but to start, we anticipate and look forward to collaborating with our community partners to try to find viable solutions to these pressing needs.”
Bailey said that although The Mejorando Group has completed its role in the planning process, the council, the committee, City directors and other employees will now go to work implementing the Strategic Plan.
“The public will see the results of this work over time, as the plan will help guide City operations and the council in prioritizing projects and services going forward,” said Bailey. “It will also serve as a roadmap for the City of Bartlesville as an employer, as well as for our employees and volunteers.
“I’m grateful to everyone who participated in this project, especially to the citizens and City employees who took the time to attend the meetings or complete the questionnaire, and to the City Council for their vision and guidance throughout this process. I’m very proud of what we accomplished.”