Strategic planning retreat scheduled for April 13

Members of the Hastings City Council and Mayor Corey Stutte will meet with City of Hastings department heads for a strategic planning retreat beginning 8 a.m., Saturday, April 13.

The retreat, which is scheduled to last up to six hours, is the latest step of the strategic planning process that began in June 2023. Strategic planning is used to prioritize efforts, effectively allocate resources, align shareholders and employees on the organization’s goals, and ensure those goals are backed by data and sound reasoning. 

“The upcoming strategic planning retreat is a critically important process where the City Council will determine the City’s Vision, Mission, Directives, Initiatives, and Measures of Success,” City Administrator Shawn Metcalf said. “Staff will then use their expertise to identify projects that meet these priorities. I recommend that the strategic planning retreat be repeated once a year or at least after each election cycle so that a newly formed governing body can review, tweak, and refine their priorities.” 

The eight-member Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, as selected by the Hastings City Council, met as a group for the first time in August. 

SPAC members led 17 focus groups during fall 2023 that were intended to reach out to all walks of life within the community to gather feedback. That feedback, combined with the 558 responses to the city’s community survey, informed the directives seen as most important for the community of Hastings: economic development and housing, transportation and communication.

The strategic plan will assist city department heads in planning for future fiscal years, beginning with the 2024-2025 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2024.

The strategic planning retreat will be facilitated by Matt Dixon, City Manager for the City of South Ogden, Utah. Dixon has a wealth of experience with strategic planning.

“Matt is a seasoned City Manager with a passion and expertise in strategic planning that is second to none,” Metcalf said. “Because of his background and experience, he will bring unique insights and perspectives to the strategic planning process.”

Dixon will guide elected officials as they work with department heads to consider initiatives identified during a retreat in January between department heads and Strategic Planning Advisory Committee members. 

 “I am extremely excited to be at this point in the strategic planning process,” Metcalf said. “It was a lot of work for so many people, but it was worth the effort. With our community’s feedback in hand, City Council is fully equipped to make informed decisions about our community’s priorities. After priorities are set, staff can then craft goals and budgets that are strategically aligned with council’s priorities. The International City Managers Association’s Code of Ethics summarizes this process nicely, ‘Elected representatives are accountable to their community for the decisions they make; members (employees) are responsible for implementing those decisions.’ ”

Published Date: 04/ 8/2024

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