Grand Rapids highlights strategic plan progress amid pandemic

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The City of Grand Rapids is making great strides in meeting the goals of its four-year plan for the second year, according to a report by City Manager Mark Washington and co-workers.

“As we navigate unprecedented times and strategically plan economic recovery after this pandemic ends, we continue to use the strategic plan as a guide for decision-making,” Washington said. “This has uniquely enabled us to build on these challenges while making progress on the issues that we prioritized in 2020 and planned for 2021 and beyond.”

For the first half of fiscal 2021 (July to December 2020), the city said it is 76% on track with performance, while the Grand Rapids Police Department is 90% on its own, despite the unexpected challenges Strategic plan on the right track is presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession and nationwide calls for immediate and significant police reform.

“The progress we’ve made so far shows that our city is still able to achieve our goals if we focus on improving our community during difficult times,” said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “I look forward to what we can all achieve as we navigate out of the pandemic and into our city’s recovery.”

During the morning and afternoon meetings, the city staff and community partners briefed the city commission on the economic outlook and recovery, as well as the highlights of the strategic plan for fiscal year 2021. They also provided detailed information on key initiatives, including the police agency’s strategic plan, the Status of the new master planning process as well as housing and homelessness.

“The successes in our half-yearly report show that our city employees and community organizations are committed to achieving the goals we have set, regardless of the setbacks we have experienced in the past year,” said Alison Waske Sutter, responsible for sustainability and performance management .

City officials explained the progress the city has made in response to these events as they continually worked to improve the quality of life in Grand Rapids by providing vital services to the city throughout Fiscal Year 2121.

The city’s 2012 fiscal year mid-year performance management update includes four components:

  • Financial update from Chief Financial Officer Molly Clarin
  • Update of economic outlook and recovery, as well as overview of the progress of the strategic plan for fiscal year 2021
  • Detailed updates of the initiatives for the 2021 financial year (update of the police strategic plan, including transition to enforcement of park protection and RFP to evidence-based reduction of violence; update of the master plan and results of the facilitators; update of housing and homelessness)
  • Support report for updating performance management by mid-2021 (available soon)

Taken together, these reports illustrate the progress made over the past 18 months and the key achievements made in the first year and a half of the city’s four-year plan. All performance management materials (presentations, videos, reports) are available on the city’s website.

Washington notified the commission that the updates set out key achievements and commitments related to COVID-19 response and recovery, key urban services, and strategic plan priorities and objectives.

The full overview of the strategic planning and the progress presentation for the 2021 financial year is available online.

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