SPAC Officially Kicks Off
The kickoff meeting for the Strategic Planning and Advisory Committee (SPAC) was held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at the Evergreen Clubhouse. City Manager Rick Davis spoke at this meeting and thanked committee members for the hard work that they would be putting into the strategic planning process.
When asked if he would be attending future meetings, City Manager Davis stated, “I will not as I want this to be an independent exercise guided by each of you without the City Manager’s influence.”
Planning for the future is a priority at the City of Baytown and citizens play a central role in determining the City’s direction and project prioritization. City staff put forth a great effort to recruit committee members this year. Rack cards were handed out at various locations around the town, information was shared on social media multiple times, a project page was created on the Baytown Engage website as a resource to citizens, articles appeared in the Baytown Sun, and outreach was conducted with many of the City’s community partners and local organizations.
The response was overwhelmingly positive with many applying to serve on the SPAC. Members were appointed at the City Council meeting held on February 25, 2021. The current SPAC members include Anjali Singh, Steven Bingham, Taylor Henckel, Nicholas Rice, Kelli Williams, Morgan Allen, Tommie Smith, Rebecca Conejo, Mark Stafford, and Trevor Smith. These committee members will work toward the goal of helping to shape Baytown’s priorities for the 5-Year Imagine Baytown Strategic Plan.
The Strategic Plan will assist the City in identifying top directives and strategic initiatives for the next five years. The strategic plan is community-based and will bring together residents, the City Council, stakeholders, and city staff in the development of a vision and direction for the City of Baytown. Community feedback is extremely important — therefore, there will be a variety of ways for citizens to contribute virtually and in-person. Throughout the process, residents will be invited to participate through surveys, polls, workshops, focus groups, and open meetings. The last 5-year Strategic Plan garnered participation from about 4,000 citizens. The SPAC would like to see even more citizens participate this time around.
SPAC members will identify and engage stakeholders in focus groups to frame discussions around the most important thing they would change in Baytown and which amenities they they would like to have in the community, among other topics.
An important step in this exercise will include a citizen survey which will be mailed to a cross-section of the community and will be available online. Responses to the survey will play a key role in determining priorities for our community and comparing the City’s performance with other cities in the region.
Committee members will analyze and synthesize the data gathered from citizen meetings, focus groups, and the citizen survey to create the blueprint of the 5-year Strategic Plan. The plan will include the new directives and initiatives that the committee recommends for the new 5-year Strategic Plan. Once adopted, the City Manager will develop an annual implementation plan for the identified directives. Currently, the City of Baytown is in year four of the 5-Year Strategic Plan, which was implemented in 2017. The plan has successfully served as a road map for programs, capital improvement projects, and major initiatives with an implementation rate of about 80%.
The future looks bright for Baytown. As each year passes, we realize how valuable these exercises have been, and will continue to be to our community.