City of Lawrence

City Managerís Office



Thomas M. Markus


Danielle Buschkoetter, Management Assistant


Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager

Casey Toomay, Assistant City Manager

Brandon McGuire, Assistant to the City Manager


November 14, 2017


Strategic Plan Update




On March 7, 2017, the City Commission adopted a strategic plan which included seven (7) critical success factors and eight (8) priority initiatives.


Since adoption, staff have identified performance indicators for each critical success factor and have developed an action plan for each priority initiative. It should be noted that some of the performance indicators will not have data for the first few progress reports, as the City has not collected that data in the past.


Progress reports will be given every four (4) months to update the City Commission on both the critical success factors as well as the priority initiatives. Additionally, after each election the strategic plan will be revisited to review the current critical success factors, priority initiatives, and the mission/vision/values. It is at this point that if the City Commission wishes to make updates they provide staff with that direction.


Staff has invited Commissioner-Elect Ananda to attend the November 14 Work Session. The Work Session may provide the opportunity for some dialogue regarding any updates or changes to the plan between the current Commission and the new Commission.


Critical Success Factors

There are currently seven (7) critical success factors. Each critical success factor has a number of performance indicators associated with it. These indicators are tracked and available online at


There are a number of measures that indicate no data is available. These are measures that the City was not currently tracking but will begin to track in the future.


Priority Initiatives

There are currently eight (8) priority initiatives. Staff have developed an action plan to accomplish each priority initiative. Their timeline for completion vary significantly but the goal is to have them completed within two years.

1.    Inventory and evaluate the role of existing advisory boards and commissions, identify opportunities to consolidate or sunset as appropriate, and adopt consistent operating guidelines.

a.    On August 8, 2017 staff brought forward a draft policy outlining standard policies and procedures for advisory boards, committees, and commissions as well as recommendations for board consolidation and elimination.

b.    On September 19, 2017 the City Commission adopted the policy outlining standard procedures for advisory boards, committees, and commissions. Additionally, the City Commission eliminated the Joint Economic Development Council (JEDC) and assigned the former JEDC responsibilities to the Public Incentives Review Committee.

c.     There are a number of additional follow-up items that staff will continue to work on. Those items are outlined in the attached Advisory Board Follow-Up memo.

2.    Review Cityís practices for ongoing professional development and align efforts to achieve excellence around the Commissionís priorities.

a.    Staff have developed a non-supervisory training program for employees interested in developing further within their current positions or has a desire to be considered for future supervisory positions as they become available. They program will begin in April of 2018.

b.    Staff is in the process of developing an updated performance evaluation tool that incorporates the current mission/vision/values. There have been some setbacks with this item due to turnover in the Human Resources office. Those open positions are currently in the process of being filled.

c.     A Succession Planning Task Force has been developed to help with implementation and policy development. This too has had some disruptions due to turnover in the Human Resources office. Those open positions are currently in the process of being filled.

3.    Identify barriers to having high-speed fiber throughout Lawrence and facilitate the development of the necessary infrastructure by the private sector.

a.    In 2013, the city engaged CTC Technology and Energy, an industry leading engineering and business consultancy, to assess the state of broadband service in the Lawrence market and develop a range of strategic options to enhance high-speed internet service options to consumers. An extensive report was developed and presented to the City Commission at that time.

b.    The Fiber Team is assessing whether current practices and initiatives are appropriately targeted toward the objectives of the fiber policy. The team will evaluate the fiber policy to identify any deficiencies or opportunities for improvement. Members of the fiber team are reviewing the 2014 CTC report to reevaluate the barriers identified in that report and determine if the report is still a comprehensive representation of the current situation or if additional evaluation is needed.

4.    Review 9th Street plans and develop a proposal to complete the road infrastructure and determine ability to add creative and artistic elements.

a.    On June 20, 2017 the City Commission approved a basic street concept, which included no bicycle lanes or artistic elements. The City engaged Bartlett and West through an engineering services agreement to complete the technical design.

b.    On August 1, 2017 the City Commission approved an Engineering Services Agreement with Bartlett and West as well as authorized the issuance of General Obligation Bonds for the project.

5.    Develop a City facility master plan and comprehensive facility maintenance plan.

a.    Staff will complete an inventory of existing facilities in early 2018. At which point a City facility master plan will be developed and proposed changes will be included in the budgeting process and the Capital Improvement Plan.

6.    Develop a plan to implement priority based budgeting and enhance communication in the annual budget process.

a.    Staff participated in a three-part webinar series that was provided by the Center for Priority Based Budgeting. After the webinar series staff reached out to learn more about their services.

b.    In October of 2017, Casey Toomay, the Assistant City Manager that oversees development of the Cityís budget, attended a Priority Based Budgeting Bootcamp. This training provided an excellent overview of priority based budgeting and communities across the country that are using this method. This helped provide staff with a better understanding of the implementation process and the resources needed to effectively use priority based budgeting in the future.

c.     In the development of the 2018 budget, the City utilized a software system, OpenGov, to help create and communicate the budget. Additionally, in July of 2017 a budget report was made available to the public that helps improve transparency.

d.    On September 12, 2017 the City Commission received a presentation from OpenGov on the reporting capabilities of the software. Additionally, staff worked with OpenGov representatives to discuss how to better utilize the software internally during the next budget cycle.

7.    Develop and communicate a long-term financial strategy.

a.    Staff included a 5-year financial forecast in the budget documents that were available during the 2018 budget discussions. These forecasts will continue to be used in future years.

b.    On August 8, 2017 the City Commission adopted the 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan along with the 2018 Operating Budget.

c.     Starting with 2018, the City will report on the accuracy of the financial forecasts. Those metrics will be displayed under critical success factor 5, Sound Fiscal Stewardship.

8.    Develop a master plan for Downtown that includes needed and desirable assets, infrastructure, and uses.

a.    The master plan for Downtown was included in the 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan. Staff will issue a request for proposal in 2018 and proceed with the development process accordingly.


Action Requested

Direct staff of any updates to the critical success factors, priority initiatives, or mission/vision/values. If no updates are requested, staff will continue to work on the current initiatives.



Strategic Plan

Advisory Board Follow-Up

OpenGov Budget Report