City of Lawrence

City Managerís Office



Thomas M. Markus, City Manger


Danielle Buschkoetter, Management Assistant


Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager

Casey Toomay, Assistant City Manager

Brandon McGuire, Assistant to the City Manager


March 6, 2018


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. As a reminder, 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 may provide staff with that direction.


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. Detailed Staff Memo.

a.    The City Commission has adopted an advisory board policy, merged the Joint Economic Development Council and the Public Incentives Review Committee, and repealed obsolete boards. Additionally, several boards are reviewing bylaws and updating them according to the new policy.

b.    Staff is finalizing a measurement tool to help measure the diversity of boards and commission and preparing to bring forward additional recommendations based on the direction given at the August 8, 2017 work session. Those items are outlined in the attached Advisory Board Memo.

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

a.    Staff has 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 have recently been 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 have recently been 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.    Staff is assessing current practices and policies related to high-speed fiber and identifying current barriers. Additionally, staff is developing a right-of-way policy for managing and providing access to city right-of-way and easements.

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.    Engineering plans are 50% complete and were presented to the Transportation Commission on February 5, 2018 and plans will be presented to the Historic Resources Commission on March 15, 2018.

c.     Construction bids for the project will be solicited in late spring with a recommended contractor being presented to the City Commission in early summer of 2018.

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

a.    Staff is in the process of developing an inventory of existing facilities, researching potential consulting firms, and researching/developing a Request for Proposal to bring forward to the City Commission for consideration in late 2018/early 2019.

6.    Develop a plan to implement priority-based budgeting and enhance communication in the annual budget process. †Detailed staff memo.

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.     A review of the Cityís Accounts Receivable system disrupted the progress on this initiative. Until this issue is resolved, no further progress on this initiative is anticipated.

d.    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. OpenGov will be used again in the development of the 2019 budget. †OpenGov Budget Report.

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 the 2017 budget, the City will report on the accuracy of the financial forecasts. Those metrics will be displayed under critical success factor 5, Sound Fiscal Stewardship. It will be updated once the financial audit has been completed.

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

a.    Staff issued a Request for Proposal for the Downtown Master Plan on February 10, 2018 with a submission deadline of March 15, 2018.

b.    Once RPF submittals are reviewed and interviews are conducted, staff will bring forward a recommendation to the City Commission.


Action Requested

Receive report and provide direction as appropriate.



Strategic Plan Framework