Yes, another strategic plan is coming for Bloomington, but the city is putting out a call for volunteers, and plenty of them, to help shape the next plan.
The “Bloomington. Tomorrow. Together.” strategic plan is intended to incorporate the community through every step of its evolution. Residents and community representatives will be called upon to identify the mission statement and strategic objectives of the plan, develop action-planning priorities for implementation and identify measurements for success. The plan will also include annual reviews during its five-year life span.
The new plan will be the successor to the One Bloomington plan that has guided the city since 2017. Community image, equity and inclusion, community amenities, high-quality services, focused renewal, environmental sustainability and engagement and transparency were the identified priorities of the city under the strategic plan, according to Diann Kirby, the city’s community services director.
Will those priorities change? That’s part of what community members will be asked to review when the core planning team begins the process of developing the city’s long-term vision and strategic plan. The team will consist of approximately 30 community representatives and city staff members, and will be the first group of volunteers the city assembles, Kirby noted.
Members of the core planning team will be asked to participate in a retreat scheduled for Dec. 2-4, where a draft of the strategic plan will be developed. Members will continue to meet in December and January, as necessary, Kirby said.
Members of the core planning team will receive demographic, census and survey data about Bloomington prior to the retreat, as well as other community information, according to Kirby. And the team members will be asked to participate in the annual reviews and recommend adjustments to the Bloomington City Council, as needed, she added.
The action planning and measurement teams will not have three-day retreats, but will have multiple meetings at the end of the year and early in 2022, according to Kirby.
The draft plan is expected before the City Council in February or March, she noted.
There will be interviews for applicants to the core planning team, and interview panels will conduct the interviews in early November, she added.
Before the teams begin their work, the city will host community cafes, intended to give residents an opportunity to explore and share what it is they value about the places where they live, work, or spend time. The cafes will also provide a chance to express the hopes and desires that people have for the future, provide constructive avenues for expressing concerns and fears, identify challenges and barriers to progress and celebrate the strengths that make Bloomington great.
There will be multiple opportunities to participate in community cafes through October, with two sessions planned for Saturday, Oct. 16, at Bloomington Kennedy High School.
Information about the strategic plan, and a link to the team application, is available online at blm.mn/BTT. Additional information is available by calling Kirby at 952-563-8717.
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