Norwalk seeks input on 5-year plan

NORWALK - It's been nearly 12 years since the Norwalk City Council approved a strategic plan, but that's all about to change this summer.After gathering input from residents, business owners, and local service organizations, city staff have prepared a five-year strategic plan focusing on six core strategies to foster long-term development, sustainability, and continuity city-wide. Over the next several weeks, city officials are requesting public input on the tentative plan, which still needs final approval by the city council. "The council basically approved it for comment from the community so we can consider any changes," said city manager Mike Egan. "The council is taking a fresh look, and putting a new focus on customer service, technology, and staff development." Encompassing the years between 2013 and 2018, the new strategic plan highlights ambitious city goals and the steps required to move toward their fruition. With community building in mind, the 40-page blueprint features six areas of interest. In addition to enhancing public safety, fiscal management, and customer service, the plan also lays out objectives for improving economic development, staff collaboration, and operational infrastructure. Among the many ideas listed in the plan, some include: creating community advisory groups, increasing participation in emergency preparedness classes, expanding youth programs, applying for more state and federal grants, developing a long-term financial and water system plan, assisting startup businesses, promoting e-commerce, restarting neighborhood cleanup and beautification projects, updating the city's website, increasing staff training, and installing attractive signage on city streets. Egan says the goals set aside in the new strategic action plan are consistent with those laid out 12 years ago, but the influence of technology is much more pronounced today. "In 2001, there was a bigger drive for beautification," Egan said. "Back then, things had kind of deteriorated a bit. The council was focused on community enhancements, property maintenance, shopping centers, and recreational opportunities." Egan says today most residents still request the same basic city services from their local city government. "Graffiti removal, trash pickup, access to information, and from most residents there's the underlying message for us to be as frugal as we can," he said. The 2013 strategic plan is available on the city's website for download and copies can be requested at City Hall, located at 12700 Norwalk Blvd. City officials are encouraging residents to e-mail or call (562) 929-5710 with their comments on the plan.

********** Published: July 11, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 13