By. Brent Wilson Field Officer
Earlier this month (7/9) Greene County Administrator Mark Taylor updated the Board of Supervisors regarding their Strategic Plan . Chairman Bill Martin (Stanardsville) explained typically the Strategic Planning process would start earlier in the year but the Board wanted Taylor to get settled in his position prior to conducting the strategic review.
Taylor’s goal was to have the Board review the draft and to look for their additions and/or refinements. Taylor called out the the draft of the Fiscal Management Policy in which he hopes to benchmark other county’s best practices. He hopes to have this revision completed by the fall.
Another strategic project that has started is a Facility Draft Plan provided by an outside consulting firm. The intent is to take this broad study and drill down to the next level of practical and affordable options how to best utilize existing space and determine what, if any, additional space is needed. To that end, Taylor suggested the Board members take a tour of all county facilities before the September 9th meeting. Taylor highlighted concerns regarding how to address areas where the general public is not permitted such as secure portions of the Sheriff’s Office.
Taylor then highlighted the strategic objective of increasing the number of jobs in Greene County. He pointed out that 85% of the residents leave the county to go to work and the majority of the 15% are employed by the school system or other parts of the county government.
The Broadband Initiative is a strategic priority to expand the number of residents who have access to reliable internet service. Supervisor Dale Herring (At-Large) is leading this effort and an update will be coming to to the Board in October.
The Board then discussed the best methods for keeping the public informed on the status of various projects. Supervisor Michelle Flynn (Ruckersville) had concerns about having to rehash whole projects from start to finish each time a person new to the county asks for information. Taylor agreed that this is an issue and he and his staff are working with the contractor who administers the county website to develop groupings of data on each project from all the meetings so that citizens don’t have to search meeting by meeting to find the thread of a project.
Taylor asked if there were any additional ideas to be added to the Strategic Priorities List. Concerns were expressed regarding the reliance on volunteers for Fire and EMS. The key question was how to encourage residents to help those organizations through communication and education, so that residents continue to support them both financially and with more volunteers.
The last issue brought up was how to address misinformation. Some counties have a Public Information Office, but Taylor didn’t feel that was high on the priority for Greene County at this time. Flynn suggested taking advantage of press releases to keep residents informed accurately. Taylor stressed that he has an open-door policy and, while a call to schedule an appointment would be appreciated, he is always glad to meet residents at his office to discuss their concerns.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at http://www.freeenterpriseforum.org
Photo Credit: Greene County