City Managerís Office

Commission Meeting Date: March 5, 2019

Staff Contact:

Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager

Danielle Buschkoetter, Budget and Strategic Initiatives Manager

Recommendations/Options/Action Requested:


Receive report and provide direction as appropriate.


Executive Summary:



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


Staff is in the process of moving all performance measures and strategic planning tracking to OpenGov and therefore all performance measures are temporarily unavailable.


Priority Initiatives

There are currently eight (8) priority initiatives. Staff have developed an action plan to accomplish each priority initiative. Their timeline for completion varies significantly but the goal is to have them completed by the end of 2019.


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 February 19, 2019 the City Commission moved HOME fund recommendations from the Community Development Advisory Committee to the Affordable Housing Advisory Board by approving the first reading of Ordinance No. 9650. The second reading is scheduled for March 5, 2019.

b.    Staff is moving forward with implementing software to assist with the management of advisory boards. This will be fully implemented later in 2019.

c.     On February 5, 2019 the City Commission dissolved the Homeless Issues Advisory Committee.

d.    More information related ongoing items and future items to be addressed in 2019 can be found in the attached staff 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. That program began in April of 2018 and had its first graduating class in January 2019. This program is continuing in 2019.†

b.    Staff are 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 been filled and progress of this initiative is anticipated to begin again shortly.

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 been filled and progress of this initiative is anticipated to begin again shortly.


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.

Several of the recommendations contained in the CTC report are complete and city staff is reviewing the report to determine which of the remaining recommendations are feasible and may encourage additional construction of privately-owned fiber.

b.    Staff is assessing current practices and policies related to fiber construction to identify potential barriers. Over the past several years, personnel with three relatively smaller (local or regional), independent internet service providers (ISPs) operating in the community have stated that the cityís management of right-of-way inadvertently disadvantages ISPs that have not been granted a franchise ordinance by the city or video service authorization certificate by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC). City staff is aware that two of those three ISPs now possess video service authorization certificates with the KCC and video service provider contracts with the city. These contracts authorize access to all city-owned rights-of-way, subject to the cityís permitting requirements and standards, similar to a franchise agreement.


The private sector has made and continues to make significant investments in the construction of fiber networks and equipment across the city. Additionally, the city offers dark fiber for lease along its backbone ring around the city (see Leasable Fiber Map). The leasable fiber provides access to an extensive backbone ring at a deep discount to private ISPs. This has the potential to save ISPs significant investment in construction and maintenance of private fiber networks. 

City staff recognizes that this initiative and task may benefit from additional direction from the Commission. Fiber construction may not be the primary concern. Rather, the concept of digital inclusion may better capture the Commissionís concerns. Digital inclusion is the ability of all people to access and use information and communications technologies, regardless of economics, demographics, or other factors. Staff plans to seek additional guidance on this initiative as it relates to the construction of private fiber optic networks.

c.    Staff is developing a right-of-way policy and management program for governance of city-owned right-of-way. The permitting requirements and standards enacted by the upcoming ordinance and policy will provide a level playing field for all utilities, telecommunications companies and ISPs constructing, operating and maintaining infrastructure in the ROW. Additionally, the changes should improve the efficiency and predictability of the ROW permitting process and enforcement of ROW standards - factors to which ISPs and contractors assign great value. Finally, the policy and program improvements have been developed with the public interest in mind. The new ROW management program should improve the cityís cost recovery and prioritize the convenience, health, safety and welfare of residents, businesses and the traveling public. The policy proposal is planned for presentation to the Commission in April. 


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 May 1, 2018 the City Commission approved the final design plans for the reconstruction of 9th Street. The project bid was awarded in June and construction has begun. As it relates to this initiative, it is considered complete.†


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

a.    Staff have met to review existing facilities and analyze how current space is being used and identify future needs. There are many ongoing efforts showing progress on this item. Examples include the police facility, Fire Station No. 1/Senior Resource Center, One-Stop Shop/Municipal Court at City Hall-Riverfront, evaluation of options for a Municipal Services & Operations shared facility, and evaluation of City Hall needs.


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

a.    On October 16, 2018 the City Commission approved the matrix that was used by staff to prioritize programs for priority-based budgeting. Staff used this matrix to score all identified programs.

b.    Staff have allocated costs to all identified programs and the final results will be presented to the City Commission in April. Staff will train the City Commission on how to navigate the results in March.

c.     Staff continues to utilize a software system, OpenGov, to help create and communicate the budget. Additionally, staff have updated the structure of the budget book which also aims to improve communication of the annual 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 and now 2019 budget discussions. These forecasts will continue to be used in future years.

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

a.    On August 21, 2018 the City Commission approved entering into a contract with Houseal Lavigne Associates to complete the Downtown Master Plan.

b.    Several public meetings and focus group meetings have been held. Staff with Houseal Lavigne Associates will present to the City Commission in April regarding an updated community engagement plan.


Strategic Plan Critical Success Factor

Effective Governance/Professional Administration

Safe, Healthy, and Welcoming Neighborhoods

Innovative Infrastructure and Asset Management

Core Services

Sound Fiscal Stewardship

Collaborative Solutions

Economic Growth and Security

Fiscal Impact (Amount/Source):

There is no financial impact.


Memorandum on Advisory Boards

Action Plan Report

Strategic Plan Framework





Reviewed By:

(for CMO use only)