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Strategic Direction 2015

Every year the Tacoma City Council identifies a strategic direction for the coming year. The council is scheduled to consider a resolution adopting this year's strategic priorities at its regular meeting next Tuesday.

By identifying a strategic direction, and laying out specific priorities and objectives, the council is giving the City Manager and staff a clear picture of what they hope to accomplish for the year, and where efforts and resources should be focused. The strategic direction, priorities, and objectives are referenced in proposed legislation, and used as a tool for weighing budget and other decisions.

In 2013, back when the City was coming out of a tough round of budget cuts a strong fiscal management position led the list of policy priorities, with objectives that included the creation of the Fiscal Sustainability Task Force; the implementation of an Economic Development Action Plan, a marketing/communication campaign, and a comprehensive transportation plan; and making Tacoma more physically attractive. Other policy priorities included strengthening and supporting human services and learning in Tacoma, fostering and sustaining economic development, improving public infrastructure for transportation, and promoting an open, effective, results-oriented City government.

Then in 2014 we saw the return of the same strategic policy priorities:

  • Strengthen and maintain a Strong Fiscal Management position. 
  • Strengthen and support Public Safety, Human Services, Public Education, and Diverse Higher Learning Opportunities in Tacoma. 
  • Foster Neighborhood, Community, and Economic Development Vitality and Sustainability. 
  • Plan for and improve Public Infrastructure that meets the Transportation needs of all Tacoma residents and visitors. 
  • Encourage and promote an Open, Effective, Results-oriented Organization. 

Some of the supporting strategic objectives got crossed off: the Fiscal Sustainability Task Force was created, so that went, as did the implementation of an economic development plan.

Some carried over: making Tacoma more physically attractive is an on-going task, and the comprehensive transportation plan is in the process of being developed. The development and implementation of a marketing/communication campaign was also still on the list.

Some new items were added: implementation of an equity and empowerment initiative, developing the South Tacoma and Lincoln District mixed use centers, cultivating relationships with primary employers, developing a Greenroads program, and making Tacoma a "Welcoming City" for immigrants.

2015's direction doesn't look all that different from past years, but it changes things up a little. The strategic policy priorities use the word "residents" more often than the previous set - five out of the seven priorities uses the word. The strategic objectives seem to have shifted a little as well, with deferred street maintenance heading the list, and another transportation funding issue included as well - the Link expansion. Here are the full lists:

2015 Strategic Policy Priorities

  • Strengthen and support a safe city with healthy residents.
  • Ensure all Tacoma residents are valued and have access to resources to meet their needs.
  • Foster a vibrant and diverse economy with good jobs for all Tacoma residents.
  • Encourage thriving residents with abundant opportunities for life-long learning.
  • Cultivate a vibrant cultural sector that fosters a creative, cohesive community.
  • Assure outstanding stewardship of the natural and built environment.
  • Encourage and promote an efficient and effective government, which is fiscally sustainable and guided by engaged residents. 

Strategic Objectives 2015

  1. Work with interested stakeholders to explore, review and identify potential sustainable funding sources to address the City's deferred street maintenance.
  2. Establish and facilitate a Property Crimes Task Force to identify system improvements and strategies to reduce property crimes within the City.
  3. Develop and implement a strategy to create citywide digital equity for residents by exploring options and leveraging Click! Network.
  4. Develop the Tacoma 2025 Five-year Action Plan to successfully implement Tacoma 2025.
  5. Develop and conduct a city-wide business satisfaction and business climate survey to identify opportunities to better understand local businesses' needs and areas of improvement on the City's behalf.
  6. Continue to partner with Sound Transit to identify, secure and leverage funding to support the design and construction of the $165 million Tacoma Link expansion. 

How does this sound to you for a strategic direction for Tacoma in the coming months?

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