Prioritizing Priorities: City Commissioners Rank Goals

Making sure the new Economic Development Coordinator is focused on business growth is a top priority.

City officials met Saturday for a strategic planning session. Credit: Judy Davids
City officials met Saturday for a strategic planning session. Credit: Judy Davids

A list of goals for the Royal Oak City Commission to focus on has emerged from the Jan. 18 strategic planning session.

"After a presentation of the results of the 2013 Public Opinion Study by Cobalt, and a long day of staff presentations and commission discussion, a list of objectives was formulated," wrote City Manager Don Johnson in a memo to commissioners.

Johnson surveyed commissioners asking them to rate 26 objectives on a scale of one to 10, with ten being the highest priority.

Here's how the objectives ranked in priority:

8.0: Ensure the new Economic Development Coordinator is independent of regulatory processes and focused on business growth, retention and recruitment

7.4: Complete at least one impactful project listed in the Non-motorized Plan such as the addition of bike lanes or adequate bike parking

7.1: Hire a grant coordinator to identify grant opportunities, complete grant applications, and manage reporting for awarded grants

7.1: Identify a sustainable revenue source for parks and recreation improvements and maintenance

6.7: Explore revenue options to fund road improvement and maintenance sufficient to reach target average and minimum Pavement Surface Evaluation and Ratings (PASER) to be decided by the City Commission

6.6: Improve customer service with the hiring of a community liaison to be the single point of contact for permitting processes

6.4:  Hire a Communications Director

6.4: Review and implement selected recommendations from the rodent report to control the rodent population

5.9: Hold a public forum on options for addressing unfunded liabilities as part of the Commission's budget hearings

5.6: Increase Farmers Market rental revenue by keeping the tent deployed in the northwest parking lot all summer

5.6:  Establish a Citizen Response System

5.4: Explore the sale of city owned property, potentially including underutilized parks, and dedicate proceeds to the Park Improvement Fund

5.1:  Complete "Age In Place" initial program assessment

5.1: Hire a consultant to review and make recommendations to improve the City's website on key metrics identified by staff and approved by the City Commission

5.1: Establish a modest budget to support the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts

4.7: Hire a consultant to complete a comprehensive stormwater system analysis to inform decision making regarding changes in the stormwater detention ordinance

4.6: Adopt a vacant property registration ordinance with no registration fee to identify owners of vacant property and deal with blight

4.6:  Reestablish the Trade Inspector positions as full-time

4.4: Establish a modest budget to support the Royal Oak Employee Health and Wellness Committee

4.4:  Partially restore staffing in the Engineering Department with the hiring of an Engineer III

4.4:  Partially restore staffing in the Assessor's Office with the hiring of an Appraiser III

4.4: Partially restore staffing in the Human Resources Department with the hiring of a Benefits Specialist

4.3: Retire the permanent booths at the Farmers Market to increase rental revenue, deal with rental demand and make the space more friendly to special events

4.3:  Provide additional budgetary resources for staff and commissioner training

3.9: Continue evaluation of the option to create a Wellness Center for Royal Oak employees n partnership with local communities

3.4: Adopt a commercial re-occupancy ordinance to promptly and efficiently identify and assist businesses operating in a new space

Do you agree with the City Commissions priorities? Tell us in the comments.


DianeKH January 24, 2014 at 01:44 PM
Notout- I did not call the residents of Royal Oak sheep. That reference was made to your comment specifically. There are many good and intelligent people in our city. If I didn't believe that, I certainly would not have expended the energy necessary to run for city commission. Our unfunded liability debt is continuing to grow. This is debt we have from the past and debt we are continually adding to. And I'm all for art, but I don't think it should be one of those things everyone is forced to pay for. I support the humane society and believe it serves a very important function, but I don't think everyone else should have to support it. It should be a choice. As far as surveys go, I think they are useless. We have had too many of them and the miniscule number of responses cannot accurately reflect the views of our entire city. Royal Oak already has a website capable of accepting comments from those who wish to communicate their needs and opinions. I believe this is a much better source from which to derive pertinent information. And, it won't cost an additional 12-15,000 per year.
Notout Togetya January 24, 2014 at 04:22 PM
Diane - I apologize if my defense of government workers makes me a sheep...or a dictator, because apparently I "dictate" the way you live. I agree that the city should utilize the website more - that will cost some money, although nowhere near what they spent on the survey. The intentions of the survey were to find out what the residents value (what the city should focus on). Perhaps they are going about it the wrong way, so why not offer some alternative, cost-effective solutions? There's always a ton of "don't do this!" but hardly any "do this instead".
DianeKH January 24, 2014 at 05:14 PM
Notout-I believe my "do this instead" was recommending we put more emphasis on the website. Want more? How about sending out comment forms with our water or tax bills. After all, everyone gets them. I'm talking about simple, one page docs that residents can voice whatever is on their mind. Costs would be low and I'd be willing to be part of a volunteer committee that reads any comments coming in. Now, what else do you think I should do? I ran for city commission with honest intentions. I've made many suggestions. And I'll tell you Notout togetme , you sound a lot like one of our commissioners. It would be nice if people making comments disclosed who they were and what stake, if any, they have in all of these issues.
Laura Harrison January 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Royal Oak already has a wellness center. Its called the Y and it is within walking distance of city hall.
l.c. February 06, 2014 at 04:35 PM
more bikes= less cars / which would you rather have? less cars,SUV's would cause less damage to the roads & save $$$ & less pollution.no brainer unless your a couch potato.


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