Over the last three months City Council, along with residents, stakeholders and staff have been developing an in-depth strategic plan. This planning process has involved a series of community meetings, interviews, surveys and work sessions and resulted in the following four priority goal areas for our city: Economic Development, Financial Sustainability, Infrastructure and Workforce with an overarching priority to provide safety and security for the community. The work accomplished in the strategic planning process is a quality example of Woodland Park’s City Council governance body and operational staff working in tandem to cast this broad set of priorities with associated actionable focus areas. Establishing the plan was especially important in laying a solid foundation to budget planning and measurable outcomes for the near-term future. Most importantly, it will set the groundwork for the 2020 comprehensive plan review process next year. This work also allows the city council to most thoughtfully reflect on and pursue the priorities for which the council members were elected.
Striving to sync city council oversight with measurable goals to be accomplished by city staff provides a more seamless and efficient set of efforts and outcomes. The focus areas for each of the four priority categories have common threads, and are summarized as follows:
Economic Development is always more fruitful in local government by establishing more intentional public-private partnerships wherein comprehensive marketing can bolster Woodland Park’s draw as a destination for new businesses and families relocating and/or visiting our Pikes Peak region.
Financial Sustainability involves a longer-range set of goals and efforts intended to keep the City poised for maintaining and enhancing its assets, and the ability to more easily adjust and respond during economic challenges. This work will be accomplished through additional planning processes in which a new Capital Improvement Plan and a long-range financial plan will be developed.
Infrastructure is critical to excellence in public service delivery and providing essential amenities to the City of Woodland Park’s residents, businesses, visitors and other stakeholders. With a keen eye on preserving a rich history while having state of the art infrastructure is the key to ensuring that city facilities and other assets are protected, maintained and enhanced city Facilities. Improved access to quality Information Technology not only improves efficiencies for local government operations but also provides greater latitude for business opportunities and connection for current and future Woodland Park stakeholders. Completing the focus areas for infrastructure priority is evaluating and developing local Transportation opportunities in meaningful ways. Continuing to plan for and protect precious Water and Utilities resources poises the city for healthy, smart growth while leveraging our ability to be good stewards of these resources. The current and future infrastructure work allows the connectivity needed in attracting business, families and individuals to Woodland Park as a destination.
Workforce strength is key to sound and efficient operational performance throughout the city. Recruiting and retaining a highly qualified and capable staffing team provides the sweat equity in delivering excellence in service, developing a stronger business climate, ensuring that financial sustainability is always in focus, and provides for the state-of-the-art infrastructure needed and desired in the city. Professional development as a focus area gives city employees continual growth in developing and enhancing skills and is also important to career growth opportunities within the City’s workforce.
The Woodland Park City Council and City staff extend a hearty and heartfelt thanks to local residents, business owners and other stakeholders who have dedicated time, creativity and thoughtful work in addressing the needs and priorities of this beautiful mountain community. It is our intent to continue communicating progress regarding these priorities, along with the focused work and outcomes, with all of our constituents. In addition, we are committed to continuous quality improvement by regularly evaluating, refining and updating this plan each year.
Darrin Tangeman is city manager for the City of Woodland Park. Following 22 years as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces, Darrin spent three years serving as Pueblo West’s Chief Administrative Officer before coming to Woodland Park. Contact Darrin at email@example.com.