WHEATON – The city of Wheaton has made progress over the last four years, at least according to the goals it set in 2011.
During its June 22 meeting, the City Council reviewed progress on its Strategic Priorities and Key Performance Indicators, a set of goals identified by the council to guide staff efforts and measure improvements.
The council last set the performance goals in November 2011 with the help of consultant and attorney Craig Rapp, then with the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University, according to City Manager Don Rose.
"It's important to have these goals in place," Rose said. "They have assisted staff over the last four years ... The departments have kind of weaved them into their operations."
The city staff and council generally revisit the goals every five years, according to city documents, and already have a line item in the 2015-16 budget for more strategic planning.
Assistant City Manager Michael Dzugan said staff are pleased with their progress on the current list of priorities.
He reported 13 of 16 areas are at least 70 percent complete. Additionally, four of the areas – maintaining operating reserves equal to 40 percent of operating expenditures; outlining a response to a 20-percent decrease in state funding; improving efficiency in the fire, police and public works departments and completing a downtown strategic plan – are already finished.
Rose said city staff realized over the years that some of the goals were out of direct city control, such as occupied retail locations.
The city also failed to meet its goal of a 90 percent approval rating across its existing programs and services in a 2014 resident survey. However, the city was rated at or above the national average in 54 of 66 assessed areas.
Rose and Dzugan agreed the metrics are important, but said the city needs to focus on measurable and realistic goals for the next five years.
The council was generally in favor of completely revamping the goals in the coming months with the advice and input of city departments. Rose said he would bring the idea to city staff and then schedule sessions for the council to discuss what it wants to see the city focus on over the next several years.