A strategic plan for Ceres approved by the City Council eight years ago that has been used as a "Bible" for city action, was chocked full of goals, many of which have not been achieved. The economic downturn and staffing reductions were partly to blame for numerous goals to be made, said City Manager Toby Wells in a staff report to the council.
On Jan. 11 Wells asked the council to modify the Strategic Plan to "reflect those few goal changes to get this thing structured for a two-year time frame to get us through the General Plan process."
Once the General Plan is updated, Wells wants to see a new Strategic Plan, which is a document to carry out the General Plan.
In the council's April 2007 retreat, members identified key phrases that describe their guiding values and principles. The City Council's guiding principles are:
• Be an approachable Council, with members who are involved in the community;
• Treat people fairly;
• Be proactive, not reactive;
• Make long-lasting decisions;
• Foster strong communications with the community;
• Expect quality development as part of being a quality community;
• Foster openness and public engagement;
• Be friendly in all encounters;
• Be proud of our small town atmosphere;
• Respect the roles of the mayor, council members, city manager, staff.
The council outlined a broad range of goals and projects they wish to accomplish. The goals fall into the following areas:
• Infrastructure: Ensure that the community has adequate, well maintained infrastructure (including water, sewer, streets, traffic signals, parks, sidewalks, facilities) that fosters a quality community and supports a strong economy.
• Livable community: Create a vibrant, safe, attractive and walkable community that maintains a small-town feel, with parks, trails, shopping, entertainment and other desirable amenities.
• Economic development: Proactively recruit and attract businesses to Ceres in order to add to the quality of life and enhance the fiscal base of the community.
• Planning for the Future: Ensure the City has plans and policies in place to attract and create desirable development, maintain and improve neighborhoods and annex land to achieve a livable community and support a strong economy.
• Government operations: Provide quality services to meet community needs, assuring that the City has helpful, well trained, properly equipped and sufficient staff who partners with other public agencies to provide efficient services.
• Community engagement: Establish strong relationships with all sectors of the community, recognizing its cultural diversity and increase their involvement in creating the future of the city.