The Baldwin County Commission is hosting two public forums to seek residents’ input on the development of a new countywide strategic plan. Scheduled on consecutive Thursdays, Feb. 13 and Feb. 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Central Annex Auditorium in Robertsdale, the forum will be facilitated by Managing Results LLC, which was selected last year from six bidders to help guide the county through the strategic planning process.
The firm has already engaged or is in the process of polling the County Commission and staff for ideas, which County Administrator Wayne Dyess said, along with the public input, would result in a five-year plan setting countywide goals and benchmarks.
“It’s not related to a land use plan or anything like that. It basically focuses the county’s efforts on key priorities the commission chooses based on input from the public and from these different groups,” he said, noting all county departments are involved. “It gives us goals and objectives so all of our activities are highlighted and going toward one goal. It gives some accountability measures as well.”
For example, Dyess said the county’s last strategic plan set goals for road paving.
“It helps determine who is going to help us get there, which departments are involved with a certain goal, and it will help define what their activities should be to reach those goals,” he said. “Then it provides an accountability measure, and if we didn’t reach those goals … then it becomes a managerial tool to determine where our weaknesses are and what we do differently … so it’s a kind of a multi-prong approach to achieving goals and getting things done.”
The plan is not a requirement, but more like a best practice, Dyess said, and the commission has the authority to deviate from or update the plan based on need.
“From the public’s standpoint, we want to hear some of the challenges they’re facing, maybe things they would like to see the county do, where they say the problem areas are, what they think we should be doing, what we’re not doing now or what we’re not doing well enough,” Dyess said.
“This is an important opportunity. A lot of times [the public] has concerns and questions and we get phone calls. I think this is a chance for those comments and issues to be brought forward so the commission can evaluate those. As we go through the process, we can potentially help find solutions to those problems by creating strategies to address those concerns and placing them in the strategic plan so we can be accountable to whether we meet those goals, not when we address those questions.”
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