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Council Meeting Focusing On Strategic Plan Jan. 23

on January 14, 2018 - 6:22am

COUNTY News:

The Los Alamos County Council has set an agenda item for its upcoming Council session Tuesday, Jan. 23 to discuss an update to its Strategic Plan. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers.

The strategic plan was first adopted in 2011 and goals are reviewed and updated annually by the Council to provide direction to the staff, who then develop Management Action Plans (MAPs) to achieve the goals.

The vision statement adopted by the Council six years ago is:

Los Alamos is a world-renowned community where discovery and innovation are inspired by its dramatic history and magnificent mountain setting. We offer extraordinary educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities in a vibrant, small-town atmosphere.

The vision statement looks forward into the future 20 years, imagining what Los Alamos could look like by the year 2030. Building upon that vision, strategic focus areas are items of extreme strategic importance and determine the nature and quality of a community’s future.  The strategic focus areas define where resources – both time and money – should be spent to reach the fulfillment of the vision by answering the most critical question: “What really is most important?” Council has worked through the years to refine the plan into three main goals with strategic focus areas. Each January the Council discusses work that has been completed, new items to be considered and current items to be amended. The Council then has the option to set priorities for any of these areas. This updated plan informs the upcoming May budget process and this process may be part of the Council’s discussion on January 23. Currently the goals, focus areas and priorities are:

Economic Vitality & Financial Sustainability. There are two priority areas: “Build the local tourism economy” and “Revitalize and Eliminate Blight in Los Alamos and White Rock.”

Quality of Life, including focus areas for: Housing, Education, Quality Cultural and Recreational Amenities, Environmental Stewardship, Mobility. Two priority areas have been set and relate to Housing: “Promote the creation of a variety of housing options for all segments of the Los Alamos community, including infill opportunities as appropriate” and “Support development of affordable workforce housing.”

Quality Governance, including focus areas for: Operational Excellence, Communication, Intergovernmental Relations. There is one priority area that falls under Operational Excellence: “Simplify permit requirements and improve the overall development and building code processes to become easier to work with for all participants.”

Each of the focus areas contains detailed plans to achieve results in the short and long-term. While the Council sets the overall vision, goals, strategic focus areas and priorities, the methods used to achieve the plan is the responsibility of County staff. Therefore, after the Jan. 23 session and later Council adoption of the plan for 2018 at a regular Council meeting, the next step will be for County Manager Harry Burgess to work with the County Department Directors to update the MAPs, which will include information regarding objectives, budget, staffing, resources and timing.

The on-line 2017 Annual Report is a valuable resource and provides an overview of the goals as well as work accomplished each calendar year. It is available at: https://www.losalamosnm.us/government/county_manager

The Jan. 23 strategic planning meeting will be an informal session for the Council. The meeting will be streamed but not broadcast on PAC-8. The agenda will be available no later than Friday, Jan. 19 at: https://www.losalamosnm.us/government/county_council


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