Embarking on a new approach to integrated Planning
In 2009 the Board of County Commissioners initiated a new strategic planning process and set the stage for a new planning framework. The impetus for this process was a changing economic reality, including a significantly down-sized and resource-constrained government.
To turn this adversity into opportunity, the Board recognized it needed to evaluate its core services, including its service delivery models and standards, while retaining an emphasis on the built and natural environment that are key to Pinellas County’s quality of life. The Board knew that achieving such a vision clearly depended on maximizing creativity, technology, innovation and collaboration.
The Board also realized that a successful future depended not only on highly effective collaboration with its citizens, other stakeholders and other governments, but also upon the ingenuity and commitment of its staff. In fact, today - new continuing education commitments at the County are ensuring that staff - beginning initially at the management and supervisory level – are provided the tools to become that efficient, creative high performing organization.
|General Plan||Continuing Initiatives||Strategic Plan|
A Strategic Planning Report provides the Starting Point
After several sessions with a professional planning consultant in late 2011, the Board arrived at a concept for a new plan and planning approach that would ultimately connect the County’s vision to its long range planning, to its strategic planning and to its day-to-day planning, budgeting and funding decisions. A summary strategic plan report, prepared by the consultant, lays the foundation for the next steps in this general planning/strategic planning process.
Development of this new general plan/strategic plan will take some time, and will include many stakeholders – both internally and externally. It will follow the strategic direction laid out by the Board and aim for several desired outcomes along the way. But to get started, and because of a critical need, the Board identified several key core service areas for initial exploration. Examination of those core service areas will employ thought-leading “deep dives” and innovative approaches to service delivery consistent with the Board’s strategic direction.
Taking a "Deep Dive" to Integrate Planning for Healthy Communities
The Healthy Communities service area is the first of those areas to be the target of a “deep dive.” Following Board direction, a team comprised of staff from the County’s Health and Human Services Department, Justice and Consumer Services, Community Development, Code Enforcement and the Planning Department met over a period of several months to develop a Master Strategy for Healthy Communities that focused on the compounding economic impact of poverty on local government budgets, and the value of strategies designed to intervene in, or break, the cycle of individual poverty and community distress. The Master Strategy builds on a series of “Big Ideas,” incorporating innovative best practices and consolidating some of the best thinking from local government leaders around the Country.
Out of this, a series of existing and new strategic initiatives emerged for Health and Human Services, Justice and Consumer Services, Community Development, Economic Development, Planning and Code Enfocement. They placed particular emphasis on collaborations that created efficiency and synergy. With the Board’s agreement on June 12, 2012, to those initiatives, staff is now able to begin to translate those initiatives into definable strategies, actions, projects, and programs. Along the way, new methods for tracking and monitoring progress will be devised, and the relationship of these initiatives and strategies to the over-arching General Plan concept under development will be determined.
Effective Government Team
A team of County staff from multiple departments has been assembled by County Administration to guide the planning process. The objective of this team will be to develop recommendations for a vision, and then to prepare the analyses and identify the strategic initiatives necessary to improve the effectiveness of County government. This “effective government” team will also develop recommendations for the design of overall general/strategic planning template and process and serve as an on-going “sounding board” as things move forward.