Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Benjamin Franklin is most often credited with the line “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Similar statements have been attributed to Winston Churchill and George Patton.
Whether Franklin ever said such thing is the subject of debate, but the city of Fernley is taking no chances.
A contingent of city employees, three city council members and seven members of the community participated Saturday in a six-hour Strategic Planning workshop at City Hall, led by Frederick Steinmann, assistant research professor with the University Center for Economic Development at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The workshop was the fourth over the past eight months to develop the strategic plan for fiscal year 2017 through 2021.
Most of the heavy lifting in the making of the plan was done in the first three workshops, where more than 30 people were involved in creating a draft set of core values, strategic vision and strategic mission, community goals and organizational goals that make up the plan.
Steinman said eight months is a relatively short time in the strategic planning process.
“We’ve done what I think is a ton of work,” Steinmann said during his opening remarks at Saturday’s workshop. “This is a very good representation across the strategic planning process.”
At Saturday’s workshop, city officials reviewed each of those categories to be included into the draft plan, which will be brought back to the city planning commission and city council once the draft is complete, most likely in September.
City manager Daphne Hooper said once the plan is adopted, the strategic plan will be used to guide the council’s annual goals for the city each December.
“That’s my thought on how to implement it and make sure it gets followed,” Hooper said.
The process started in the first workshop by having participants list what they love and don’t love about Fernley, with the rest of the plan stemming from those responses. Initial efforts included reviewing past and current socio-demographic and economic conditions for Fernley, the region, the state and the country.
The plan identifies Fernley’s core values as Trust, Innovation and Engagement through Communication.
Steinmann said core values are essential tenets that guide personal relationships, guide business processes, articulates what the city stands for and guide decision making.
The group at Saturday’s workshop suggested wording changes to the proposed mission statement, vision statement and goals.
The proposed mission statement reads: “It is the mission of the City of Fernley to provide all municipal services in a proactive, innovative, and fiscally responsible way. The City of Fernley is dedicated to enhancing the community’s quality of life, to providing a high level of responsive local government services, and to promoting future prosperity and a balanced growth of the community.”
The vision statement describes the course and direction the community has charted. It reads: “It is the vision of the City of Fernley to deliver and provide public services in a way that is fiscally stable and results in a safe, responsive, forward-thinking, and collaborative community. The City of Fernley strives to be an organization that is responsive to growth and public needs and to aspire and excel at providing enhanced and excellent municipal services.”
The goals listed in the draft plan are:
Community Goal Number 1: To explore and promote opportunities for economic development and planned redevelopment in ways that are consistent with the community’s historical and current identity.
The City must provide clear and consistent policies and procedures to support our growing and dynamic community while keeping Fernley a great place to live, work and play. The City must strive to encourage sustainable job growth and expansion and create opportunities for growing local businesses.
Community Goal Number 2: To promote citizen engagement and build strong alliances with other government entities, private sector partners, and members of the community.
Citizen engagement means developing and maintaining the interest of the community’s citizens to participate in the structure and operations of the City. The City should encourage the community’s citizens to participate in City Council meetings and attend public events.
Community Goal Number 3: To preserve and maintain a quality of life enjoyed by the community’s residents and visitors and enhance the continued maintenance and reconstruction of the City’s infrastructure with an emphasis on sustainability.
In a fiscally stable and responsible manner, the City of Fernley should continue to prioritize and fund infrastructure projects that require the greatest attention in-terms of maintenance and reconstruction and communicate openly with the community’s citizens about how each project will continue to preserve, maintain and enhance the community’s quality of life.
Organizational Goal Number 1: The City of Fernley must strive to maintain and improve overall fiscal integrity, stability, and equality of the City’s financial planning.
The City of Fernley must continue to strive to identify and create new revenue sources. The City of Fernley should explore the possibility of using redevelopment, the use of a room tax, impact fees, business license fees, special assessment districts, different public and private partnerships, and federal, state, and non-profit private sector grants as possible alternative sources of funding for projects and programs identified as essential by the City and the community. The City must strive to educate the community and engage residents regarding the City’s financial position and the possible need and potential benefit of pursing and implementing different funding sources.
To achieve this goal, the City of Fernley should strive to recruit and retain new and existing businesses as a way of broadening and expanding both the community’s economic base and tax base. Controlled growth, designed to promote balance for both businesses and residents, is needed and the City will need to develop and implement a stable and fair business license fee structure.
Organizational Goal Number 2: The City of Fernley, as an employer, must strive to create and maintain a successful and efficient work environment.
The community recognizes and appreciates the dedication of the City of Fernley’s workforce and understands that the City’s existing staff provides our community will excellent public services that makes Fernley a great place to live, work, and play already. Together, with the citizens of the City, we enhance the safety, friendliness, aesthetics, and quality of life of our community.
While taking into account the financial resources available to the City, the City of Fernley must strive to make sure that all available positions are filled with highly trained and competent employees. The City should provide ongoing training and recertification of its employees and employees should be encouraged to complete ongoing training and recertification.