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Jul 30

[ARCHIVED] Retreat to Advance

The original item was published from July 30, 2018 2:00 PM to August 6, 2018 2:22 PM

Retreat to Advance

This week the City Council will meet in a retreat to discuss their hopes and aspirations for the future of our city.  This retreat actually represents the first time since the recent elections that all seven members have gathered for official action, offering an excellent opportunity to clarify a unified approach to establishing priorities. 

Context Matters

The retreat will begin with an overview of where the city currently finds itself – the context that prioritization will occur within.  This will include discussions of the roles of State and local government in Virginia, how the Council-Manager form of government works, socio-economic conditions and trends, current industry and employment information, and current budgetary and service delivery considerations.  This information will help ensure that as the Council works on priorities and strategies for moving forward, it does so with knowledge of where the City is within these critical areas of consideration.

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

The majority of the retreat will be focused on reviewing current City priorities and the strategies used to address those priorities and what, if any, revisions are warranted.  The City currently operates with the following as its Vision Statement – that is, what it is the Council works toward on behalf of the citizens

The City of Roanoke is a safe, caring and economically vibrant community in which to live, learn, work, play and prosper

Further, the City currently operates with seven strategic areas of importance – that is, areas that must be fully and satisfactorily addressed if the vision is to be realized.  These strategic areas are:



Human Services


Good Government




The Council will review and, where appropriate, adjust the current strategies the City uses within each of the strategic areas.  The purpose is to ensure that what we do as a city – what we spend our time and resources on – is tightly aligned with the outcomes the Council (and the citizens) desire and believe move us closer to the community vision. 

If all goes well, the result of this effort will be a strategic plan which, when completed in the fall, will serve as a starting point for the development of the next year’s budget.  As this plan is developed, there will be the opportunity for residents and businesses to share their thoughts about the City’s priorities for the future.  Why not take a few moments now and respond to this blog post with what you believe the priorities should be for the City – what it is you believe we should focus our attention, time, and money on.

– Bob Cowell