City moves forward with plan

COVINGTON -- The city of Covington is set to move forward with creating a strategic plan that will guide employees, managers and officials toward a common vision for the next three years.

Elected officials completed their training on formulating the plan at a retreat held Wednesday through Friday at the FFA-FCCLA Center.

Now, a planning team of 12 people, mostly consisting of department heads and supervisors with the city, will be formed to create the plan. The city's strategic plan will be created by senior and middle management and supported by the City Council. It will define the city's direction and the value it wants to provide to key stakeholders during the next three years.

The council and several department heads defined key stakeholders as

residents, specifically the poor, elderly, children and young people. It was also agreed the goal is to be inclusive of changing demographics.

Other stakeholders include property owners, customers, small and large industries, and small and large businesses.

Also in the works will be a strategic capital plan that will be created by senior and middle management and outline the criteria for financial decision-making. The plan will define future capital requirements and how capital resources will be obtained and managed.

Operational plans will be created by each department head and their management teams on a yearly basis to define what has to be done to carry out the broader plans, how they will be executed, who will be involved and when it will be done.

Following formation of the planning team, they will meet for 10 to 11 day-long sessions over the course of the next three to four months, under the guidance of Alysin and Frank Foster with the Centre for Strategic Management in Conyers.

They will also develop measures of success to determine if the plans are being successfully implemented. The planning team will provide monthly updates to the council.

The Fosters' facilitated the city's three-day retreat and had high praise for the outcome and teamwork exhibited.

"It couldn't work any better than this ... We are extremely hopeful and excited about what we see here," Alysin Foster said.

However, Frank Foster cautioned officials not to drop the ball after the retreat concluded.

"This is an ongoing process. If you let it drop here, you have failed the city of Covington," he said.