One of Marana’s strongest assets as a community is that we have created a culture of strategic planning. While we always make sure the services we provide — police, water, parks and roads, for example — are top-notch, we also take time to dream about the town’s future and how we will grow to become a community known for its extraordinary long-term vision.

Several weeks ago, our town council and executive staff had a chance to revisit some of the dreams we first discussed when creating the Marana Strategic Plan in 2009. Two years after adopting the plan, we were able to review how we’ve performed and how priorities have changed.

Overall, I’m proud to tell you that the town has done a remarkable job meeting its goals and has positioned itself strategically to excel long into the future.

Over the next few months, several steps will take place to create an updated Marana Strategic Plan. First, our department heads and executive staff will hold a one-day retreat next week to go over the council’s goals and begin to put action strategies in place. Second, all town employees will have a chance to review the plan and provide comments, which will help us determine how to turn those big-picture dreams into practical steps. Finally, citizens and business owners will have a chance to do the same, ensuring that the final product is truly a public document with broad-based support.

The final plan update is anticipated to be ready for council adoption by the first quarter of 2012. It will be a leaner publication, more focused on specific goals and less on day-to-day tasks.

For the first time, it will also contain performance measures, which will be instrumental in our annual budget preparation and in providing real data to taxpayers on how their dollars are being efficiently and effectively spent.

One of our key ideas, in fact, is to create an annual “report card” for the community that shows how well we’ve done in moving Marana forward.

The Marana Strategic Plan is an outstanding community asset because it helps us grow and continue to prepare for the future. I sincerely hope that all Marana stakeholders have the time to review the draft plan and provide feedback in the coming months.

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