Springfield commissioner wants to examine goal-setting process

A newly elected Springfield city commissioner wants to change the way the city sets and evaluates its annual goal-setting process.

City Commissioner David Estrop has asked city staff members to present a resolution with goals for commissioners at the city’s next meeting on Tuesday, March 27, including an updated five-year financial forecast. Goals for staff members also should be be considered at a future meeting, Estrop said.

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By setting goals in a resolution, he said it creates a clear understanding of what the city wants to accomplish this year.

It also will allow Commissioner Kevin O’Neill to participate in setting goals for this year, Estrop said. O’Neill didn’t attend the city’s retreat last month due to an illness. No goals were formally adopted at the retreat.

“Right now there are no formal goals for this city or this commission, except by sort of a handshake,” Estrop said. “I would prefer to formalize those and let all five of us participate.”

Typically the city approves its budget in December and sets goals at its annual retreat in mid-February.

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After discussing goals at their retreat, Estrop said commissioners often have approved a resolution with goals but didn’t necessarily measure how they did on them. Estrop also would like to see city staff members set plans to show how they will achieve the commissioner’s goals.

Commissioners haven’t set goals for city staff members before, Commissioner Joyce Chilton said.

Estrop also wants to examine the city’s timeline for setting goals, he said. He would like the city to set its goals before setting the budget so goals align with the city’s finances.

“I’m wondering if we’ve got it in the right order,” Estrop said. “At some point, I’d like to discuss that.”

Chilton has asked Springfield City Manager Jim Bodenmiller to provide Estrop with background on the budgeting and goal-setting process.

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“It’s been a set practice on the way that we do things,” she said. “I don’t mind stepping outside the box but I kind of like the way things are.”

Mayor Warren Copeland, Commissioner Rob Rue and O’Neill supported Estrop’s idea.

“The best companies that are successful throughout the world — and I assume cities who are successful — have outlined goals and strategies that are public in front of the staff and commission,” Rue said.

Rue wants to move forward with Estrop’s suggestion of discussing the strategic goal-setting timeline, he said.

“We need to get way outside the box,” he said.

Commissioners discussed several goals to improve the city at this year’s retreat, including a study of the local housing stock and repairing neighborhood streets.


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