Employee Morale, Town Image Priorities For 2007

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The process to update town's Corporate Strategic Plan -- a document that navigates Payson's short- and long-term municipal goals -- was streamlined and tailored to incorporate more public input Tuesday.

The CSP also helps improve the quality of services the town provides.

Kathy Baas, who co-facilitated the Corporate Strategic Plan meeting, said she and other citizen participants are committed to honing this year's objectives.

Three upcoming meetings lined up in winter and early spring will help to define those goals. By April, the Corporate Strategic Plan will come before the council for final adoption.

"We have a disconnect with the public. We say we're going to do things and we don't, and we don't say why," Mayor Bob Edwards said.

During the first meeting, scheduled for Jan. 11, the town's department heads met to determine the CSP projects that have been finished or have become obsolete, and assess the status of pending initiatives.

"We have to have measurable milestones," Baas said. "It needs to be more detailed so the council can decide."

Town staff will also provide public input forms in January to give Payson residents the opportunity to suggest and prioritize objectives.

"The public input is critical here," Edwards said. "You need to have a broader view of the public or we can make some emotional decisions ourselves."

At the second meeting on Feb. 8, town staff will compile that information and organize it by department. Preliminary cost estimates, benefits, budgets and economic impacts will also be discussed.

Then, in March, the council will solidify goals for the upcoming year.

"Here, it needs to be more detailed so the council can decide," Baas said.

Plan highlights

A comprehensive employee development program tops the 2007-2008 CSP schedule.

The town human resources department will try to secure training courses and facilities at the college, secure funding for the program, and, once developed, possibly offer the project to other organizations and municipalities.

Another element of the human resources plan includes improving the public perception of town staff and bolstering employee morale.

Community and economic development also rank high on the upcoming CSP.

Ken Volz, chairman of the economic development task force, is working with the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation, the beautification and design review task forces and the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee to develop a geographic information system -- a program that stores information about the town's infrastructure. The group also plans to focus on defining the town's image.

The streets department, with the help of the streets task force, is undertaking an inventory of existing streets. Part of this process, includes updating street standards and outlining a plan to provide pocket parks --small areas of greenspace in the urban grid.

Town Engineer LaRon Garrett has submitted the plans for a potential storm drain utility to improve the drainage issues in town. Back in 1999, the town drew up a drainage master plan and estimated townwide repair costs at $3.7 million. In today's dollars, that number has increased to $4.2 million.

The next CSP meeting will be held Jan. 11 in the town council chambers.

The town council and town staff encourage members of the public to get involved in the planning process. Online public input forms will be available in January on the town's Web site at www.ci.payson.az.us.

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