Members of the Starkville Board of Aldermen and Mayor Parker Wiseman will soon join for the board’s winter retreat, discuss the previous administrative year and develop a strategic plan for 2012.
The retreat, held over two days in the second week of January, will allow city representatives prioritize and put to paper a list of goals and expectations for the coming year, and also discuss future capital improvement projects.
“(One session) will be devoted to a review of our strategic plan. We will go through the plan that was adopted two years ago and amended last year, and determine which items have been completed and what progress has been made on the other items,” Wiseman said.
The list of completed strategic items includes the adoption of Starkville’s new logo, seal and flag, the expansion of the city’s Christmas celebration and the development of a capital improvement plan. While the development of a municipal facilities plan was also on the list, the failure of the fall city bond issue puts aldermen back to the drawing board in regard to a new plan. Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk, Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas and Wiseman all said the board’s top priority for 2012 will be the development of a new municipal facilities plan.
“The two things I’m most hopeful about with this retreat are developing a comprehensive capital improvements plan and having more discussions about redistricting,” Sistrunk said. “Our municipal facilities are decaying and they’re going to have to be addressed. The problem did not just go away (after the bond referendum).”
On the second day of the retreat, the board will hold a capital improvements work session with consultant Demery Grubbs. Dumas said complete board attendance during the retreat can help aldermen get on the same page about future Starkville projects.
“That Saturday will be the real time to sit down and figure out an attack plan,” Dumas said. “It is my real hope to try and get everyone on the same page after so much has been said from certain people on the board about infrastructure and the perceived lack of projects. Attendance (at the board retreats) has been fair, but you can tell throughout the year as we try to accomplish and do things during goal-setting periods that people do tend to forget about the lengthy conversations we’ve had about putting them together. I hope everyone will be there and have the right conversations.”
Wiseman said he is hopeful the board will come together, work positively and develop the best plans possible for Starkville. Plans, he said, provide accountability to the city.
“It’s very important that we build our strategic vision for the city as a group,” Wiseman said. “This offers an opportunity to work as a team to build goals and objectives that we’ll work toward in the future. It also allows us to have a plan and hold ourselves accountable, which is essential to the process of government.”