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Report made on strategic plan

Strategic plans are not anything new for Boulder City. A document developed in conjunction with an outside consultant outlining goals for the next five years has been around for at least a decade.

But Council member Steve Walton called out specifically the last document, calling it “visionary” and thanking the council (led at the time by then-mayor Rod Woodbury) that approved it.

That plan was completed in 2023 and the process for creating a document to guide city government until the end of the decade has been underway for some time. Guided this time by a new consulting firm, Louisiana-based Emergent Method, a team led by managing director Robin Stiles, has been gathering input from the public, the council and city staff since the beginning of this year.

At this point, the consultant brought what was expected to be a close-to-completed plan to the council on June 25 for a presentation. In fact, a draft version of the plan was included in the meeting agenda.

But the council was not convinced with everything presented. It was the political equivalent of a “not-so-fast” moment.

The council asked for significant changes right from the get-go as Stiles presented the first overarching category entitled Recreation and Engagement.

Walton expressed that he had been under the impression that section would be focused on tourism and strategies for increasing visitation.

“Engagement is not necessarily descriptive of what I recall,” he said. “I thought we were talking more about tourism. Engagement, certainly, but of the visitors, not just generally.”

He suggested changing that broad category to Recreation and Tourism.

Council member Sherri Jorgensen wanted to go beyond the generalizations with a simple goal statement and a metric for having achieved it.

Stiles responded, saying, “That’s what will be captured once these strategies are finalized. That’s when the implementation metrics will be completed and that will have the granularity. But these are just to make sure that we are building out the right strategies which we can then understand from a tactical implementation perspective.”

Jorgensen persisted, replying that, “It gives us specifics and it gives us accomplishable goals. So the vision is specific enough to understand, ‘that was done.’”

She continued explaining why she wanted to see specifics.

“Sometimes, when we’re vague, and we get a new person in, the new person does not know what the other person thought, and you can interpret it in a lot of different ways,” she said. “So, if when we get in the sand, we could be specific at least enough that, if say, a person in that position changed and a new person came in, they would still understand what we were hoping to achieve.”

Walton had another major issue and it had to do with the “third rail” of Boulder City politics. Reading from the presentation under the Growth and Development slide, he said, “No. 1: Evaluate and when necessary modify or eliminate ordinance and local regulatory barriers to achieving diverse housing types and choices. I’m not entirely certain what is meant by the writing of that. But when I read it, to me, modify or eliminate ordinances directly addresses the charter item as well as the ordinance restrictions on building permits that we call our limited growth ordinance. I don’t think anybody in our community wants those changed whatsoever. So I think the wording on that is a miss.”

Walton continued saying that, if there are barriers, the city can work to identify what any of those might be.

“But as far as modify or eliminate ordinances related to housing of any type?” he asked. “I don’t think we need that language in our strategic plan whatsoever.”

Stiles replied that could be changed to just say identify barriers to diverse housing options. Mayor Joe hardy added, “Consistent with the Growth Ordinance.

For three months, Emergent Method sought feedback from the community on strategic plan priorities through several methods, including:

■ Online Survey

■ Town Hall meetings

■ Community focus groups

■ Individual meetings

■ Employee survey

■ Department head survey

A total of six strategic priorities were identified, based on community feedback:

1. Recreation and Engagement

2. Financial Stewardship

3. Growth and Development

4. Historic Preservation

5. Infrastructure

6. Public Health and Safety

Moving forward, Emergent Method staff will take the input from council and make changes. They are also set to do additional work on identifying revenue sources as well as potential partnerships with other entities that would help the city move toward its goals. At that point, a final plan will be drafted and presented to the city council for their approval and adoption.

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