Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 17-508    Version: 1
Type: Action Item Status: Passed
File created: 10/9/2017 In control: City Council
On agenda: 10/23/2017 Final action: 10/23/2017
Title: Approval of the Salem Strategic Plan. Ward(s): All Wards Councilor(s): All Councilors Neighborhood(s): All Neighborhoods
Attachments: 1. Strategic Plan Engagement Summary, September 2017, 2. Salem Strategic Plan
Related files:

TO:                      Mayor and City Council   


FROM:                      Steve Powers, City Manager 





Approval of the Salem Strategic Plan.    


Ward(s): All Wards    

Councilor(s): All Councilors    

Neighborhood(s):  All Neighborhoods    





Shall the City Council approve the Salem Strategic Plan?    






Approve the City of Salem Strategic Plan. 





As part of the FY 2016-17 budget development, the Budget Committee and City Council discussed the need for an overarching plan to guide future decision making.  In mid-October 2016, this citywide strategic planning effort began.


Initial findings of a Situation Assessment were presented to the Budget Committee at its November 16, 2016 meeting and further discussed by the City Council at its January 30, 2017 meeting.  The Situation Assessment included information on City services; economic and demographic trends; results of an early December 2016 statistically valid survey to assess resident satisfaction with City services; and findings interviews with community members, civic partners, and City Council. 


At a March 6, 2017 work session, the City Council reached consensus on mission, vision and values statements for the organization.



A safe and livable capital city with a sustainable economy and environment that is open to all.


The City of Salem provides fiscally sustainable and quality services to enrich the lives of present and future residents, the quality of our environment and neighborhoods, and the vitality of our economy.


                     Opportunity - Salem is proactive and forward-thinking,

                     Compassion - Salem is fair, equitable, and safe,

                     Responsiveness - Salem is at your service, with capacity and partnerships to prepare for the future, and

                     Accessibility - Salem is open and inclusive.


At the work session, the City Council identified six priority topics for City Council Work Groups to discuss with the community.  Work Groups reported on their progress at a May 6 City Council Work Session, seeking consensus on the recommended goals for each issue area.  All Work Group meetings were publicly noticed and comments were solicited.  Community input was sought through well-attended open houses in January and again in June.  Findings from these engagements were shared with the Work Groups and with the City Council as a whole.  On June 26, 2017, the City Council added a seventh priority issue of environmental action.


City Council Work Groups were tasked with defining the goal or desired outcome in each area and identifying key actions, which will help the City make progress toward each goal.  Work Groups on the following topics were formed and members assigned:

                     Vision for Growth and Development includes Councilors McCoid, Cook, Lewis, and Nanke.  Lisa Anderson-Ogilvie, Interim Community Development Director, serves as the lead staff person.

                     Affordable Housing, Social Services, Homelessness includes Councilors McCoid, Andersen and Cook.  Andy Wilch, Housing Authority Administrator, serves as the lead staff person.

                     Economic Development and Downtown includes Mayor Bennett and Councilors Nanke, Hoy and Kaser. Kristin Retherford, Urban Development Department Director, serves as the lead staff person.

                     Critical Infrastructure includes Councilors Ausec, Lewis, Nanke and Kaser.  Peter Fernandez, Public Works Director serves as the lead staff person.

                     Sustainable Service Delivery includes Councilors McCoid, Andersen, Ausec and Cook.  Kacey Duncan, Deputy City Manager, serves as the lead staff person.

                     Public Transportation includes Mayor Bennett and Councilors Kaser, Lewis, and Hoy.  Julie Warncke, Transportation Planning Manager, serves as the lead staff person.

                     Environmental Action includes Councilors Andersen, Kaser, Nanke, and McCoid. Kristin Retherford, Urban Development Department Director, serves as the lead staff person.


Council met again in a work session on September 9, 2017 to discuss Work Group recommendations for actions to accomplish the desired outcomes in three to five year Strategic Plan.  This work was followed by a Community Open House on September 19 with more than 80 people participating.  In addition, more than 670 people submitted responses to an on-line or paper survey designed to help the City consider priorities for action in the goal areas.  A summary of the September engagement activities is attached (Attachment 1).  In general, the goals appear to be on the right track.  Prioritizing the proposed actions proved to be challenging and the results of this part of the survey were inconclusive.





The Strategic Plan Work Groups completed research tasks and identified the most appropriate role for the City and its partners to achieve the desired outcomes.  Moving forward, City Council will revisit its Annual Work Plan and the Strategic Plan in January of each year to consider feedback from the community, a residential satisfaction survey, and changes in policy direction to meet desired outcomes.  


At the September 9 Work Session, the City Council sought to prioritize the actions proposed for the three to five year Strategic Plan.  Individually, Councilors participated in an on-line survey to rank the top five actions.  With seven responses, the top strategies through this exercise were: (1) partner to establish a sobering and recovery center; (2) explore the possibility of bringing high speed internet to Salem; (3) explore alternatives building codes for adaptive re-use of older buildings; and (4) develop a robust City asset management program.  Each of these proposed actions were ranked as a top priority by at least three of seven respondents.


The draft Strategic Plan represents City Council Work Group recommended goals and priorities for actions (Attachment 2). The Strategic Plan also provides context for each goal, a summary of effort currently underway, and how progress is likely to be tracked and progress to be reported.



                     Courtney Knox Busch 

                     Strategic Initiatives Manager



1.                     Strategic Plan Engagement Summary, September 2017.

2.                     Salem Strategic Plan