2012 City Council Goals

City Council Goals

On January 27, the City Council met in a day-long retreat to establish goals for 2012. Following a robust conversation, the City Council identified the top eight goals for the organization to pursue for the balance of 2012, aligned with each of the six strategic commitments. The priority goals for 2012 established by Council are as follow:

(also see Goals aligned to Strategic Commitments)


1. Address the future of fire and EMS service and emergency preparedness facilities in Vancouver.
In the Fall of 2011, a $2.3 million, two-year federal SAFER grant allowed the rehiring of 13 firefighter positions and the reopening of the station through the end of 2013. However, the City’s financial forecast predicts that after 2013, general fund revenues will be insufficient to pay the ongoing costs of keeping this station open under the current service delivery model.  The City Manager and Fire Chief, through a partnership with IAFF Local 452 and a focused community engagement approach, will develop with Council alternative service delivery, capital investment and funding approaches that are focused on being affordable in the context of an array of City services and having:  the right people with the right skills (staffing and training), at the right place (facilities and deployment), at the right time (scheduling and response times,) with the right tools (facilities, apparatus, equipment and technology). UPDATE: 9-12-12. A community team presented City Manager Eric Holmes with recommendations including new ways to help address the long-term fire and emergency medical service needs amidst the City’s budget challenges.

2. Establish financial policies to help guide the City to fiscal sustainability.
The prolonged recession and slow recovery leaves the City in a new era of fiscal reality and responsibility. In order for the City to progress from fiscal solvency to fiscal sustainability, we need to establish a firm foundation upon which to make financial and budget decisions over the next 3 biennia. This effort will result in a comprehensive update of the City’s current financial policies to address our long-term fiscal reality, affirm Council direction and provide the foundation for development of the 2013-14 budget.  Adoption of new fiscal policies by City Council would be expected this spring.

3. Establish a strategic plan for the future of policing in the City.
Since 2008, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) has reduced its total number of budgeted officer positions and increased its reliance on grant/contract-funded positions.  These grant positions will expire within the next two to four years and, without backfill funding, maintaining a community policing emphasis will be challenging. Through a process of internally and externally focused engagement, the City Manager, Police Chief and staff will explore with Council a range of options for the future of policing in the City and develop a strategic plan for VPD that allows the City to maintain a community oriented policing approach that reflects community values and is affordable in the context of an array of City services.

4. Address the future of Parks and Recreation services in Vancouver.
Following the reductions of the last three years, including the most recent cutbacks associated with a decline in recreation revenue, the City will develop, refine and implement a new organizational and service delivery model for Parks & Recreation that reflects community values and is affordable in the context of an array of City services, building on the regional recommendations of the parks Blue Ribbon Commission.

5. Represent and advocate for the community’s interests in the CRC project leading up to a planned 2013 start date.
The Columbia River Crossing (CRC) represents transformative potential for Vancouver.  With the issuance of the Record of Decision (ROD) by federal and state governments in late 2011, the project is now transitioning to the execution phase.  Final design, permitting, right-of-way and community impacts, as well as related opportunities, will soon come into sharper view. Throughout this process, the City will need to protect and promote the City’s interests in the final design and planning leading up to execution of the proposed CRC project.

6. Address the City’s long-term transportation infrastructure needs.
Comprising 1,806 lane miles of streets, 3,800 acres of right-of-way, and tens of thousands of signals, signs and other traffic control devices, our transportation system is the City’s single largest asset.  As of 2010, the City had an estimated $200 million maintenance backlog on our street system, and the current six-year Transportation Improvement Plan includes over $300 million in unfunded projects.  This effort will develop a transportation funding policy and long-term strategy which sets targets for investment in system preservation, safety and capacity, reflects community values, and is affordable in the context of an array of City services.

7. Evolve the City’s community and economic development functions to better achieve planning and prosperity goals. 
In response to the onset of the recession in 2010, the City consolidated the planning and development functions and dramatically reduced staff at the City.  The City is now poised to retool these programs to better achieve community goals in a prolonged period of recovery.  Through a process of internally and externally focused engagement, the City Manager, Community Development Director and staff will evolve the City’s community and economic development functions, rules, regulations, fees and technology to reflect a nimble agency focused on achieving the goals of the City’s comprehensive plan and sub-area plans within the realities of the new economy.

8. Develop and deploy a strategic communication policy and plan.
Over the long term, in order to sustain core city services, the City will need to rely on a different relationship with our citizens than we have in the past. A coordinated, cohesive communication policy, strategic communications plan and proactive City-wide messaging and engagement will better allow us to share information about the good work the City is doing, as well as get feedback from those we serve about community priorities and help build community support for future funding of public services.