In the first six months of 2012, Galt officials purchased a new sewer cleaner, assigned a second police officer to the joint Elk Grove/Galt SWAT team and created a citywide new employee recognition program that honored 80 employees for outstanding efforts.
Those are among the several dozen items the city checked off its most recent strategic plan list, a to-do list of sorts. Mayor Barbara Payne provides a public update at least once a month during the regular City Council meeting.
The city is now looking forward to the next six months of goals.
City manager Jason Behrmann said it is critical for both the City Council and city staff members to stay focused on the city's top priorities.
"As with most things in life, you need to set both long-term and short-term goals in order to be successful. You need to have a target and a roadmap of how to get there. Otherwise you are just reacting to issues instead of strategically planning for the city's long-term success," he said.
The city started strategic planning five years ago, although Behrmann doesn't recall who first came up with the idea. He was familiar with the process, having done similar planning when he worked for the city of Dublin.
The strategic planning process not only helps the council and staff, but the community, too, Behrmann said.
For council members, the strategic planning process allows them to brainstorm ideas, set priorities and provide clear direction to staff, he said.
"It is important for the community because it communicates the city's current goals and objectives, and provides accountability to the voters by providing regular updates on how the city is accomplishing those goals," he said.
Recently, the city council held a workshop to write a strategic plan for the next six months.
"One thing we did was reviewed the good things we've done since the last time in meeting our goals," Payne said of the meeting.
Among the plans through the end of the year are: creating a coalition of civic groups to plan community events; holding a November ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Central Galt Interchange; launching at least one social media site such as Facebook or Twitter for the city; and issuing city permits for Walmart to start construction.
The city's Strategic Plan can be found online at www.ci.galt.ca.us.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.