On Saturday, November 2, 2019, the City of Washington’s leadership met for a strategic planning and goal setting work session. Participants included the following: Mayor, Gary Manier; City’s Aldermen – Mike Brownfield, Lilija Stevens, Brett Adams, Todd Yoder, Brian Butler, Dave Dingledine, Randall Black and Daniel Cobb; City Administrator, Ray Forsythe; City Treasurer, Ellen Dingledine; Controller, Joanie Baxter; Chief of Police, Mike McCoy; Deputy Chief of Police, Jeff Stevens; Public Works Manager, Kevin Schone; and Planning and Development Director, Jon Oliphant.
The work session was held at Five Points Washington Center and facilitated by Elizabeth Hansen, President of Midwest Municipal Consulting, LLC of Windsor Heights, IA.
The purpose of the work session was to review previous successes and current progress, discuss current issues and opportunities, and develop preliminary action plans for the City’s new goals and initiatives. A survey requesting the public’s feedback on 35 proposed new initiatives was made available for 14 days. The City received 836 responses. The top 10 results were the following:
1. Consider a comprehensive economic development strategic plan that includes Business 24, Route 24, Route 8, Nofsinger Road, Freedom Parkway, Lakeshore Drive, the Square and the 223 property.
2. Complete a new, comprehensive plan for the City to include economic development to improve chances at attracting private, commercial and industrial development.
3. Adopt a capital improvement plan for the City with a focus on a 20-year reconstruction plan to include maintenance, repair, timely implementation and budgeting consideration.
4. Reduce the City portion of the property tax bill.
5. Form a plan for Freedom Parkway if state funding does not come through.
6. Reduce spending by 10%.
7. Create a master development plan for the 223 property.
8. Consider creating a storm water utility to address chronic or frequent flooding areas and storm water maintenance.
9. Dispose of surplus city property and equipment.
10. Adopt a capital improvement plan for the Fire Department, with a focus on a 20-year reconstruction plan to include maintenance, repair, timely implementation and budgeting consideration.